EEOC and Wellness Programs
We've written before about the EEOC's limits on wellness programs. For a wellness plan to be considered truly "voluntary", the incentives for participating (and therefore the penalties for not participating) can't be so high that they would compel an unwilling participant to join. To be compliant with the ADA and GINA, plans that require participants to disclose family medical history or undergo a medical screening can't have an incentive that exceeds 30% of their health insurance premium. That is, until now.
Last October, AARP filed a lawsuit against the EEOC, claiming their 30% limit was arbitrary and challenging portions of the guidelines for employers published last year. As the EEOC does not justify their 30% decision in their guidelines, DC's district court ruled that the AARP Foundation was correct. Rather than removing the guideline altogether, the court has sent the EEOC back to the drawing board. They will reconsider their limits and publish new guidance (which will include their reasoning this time).
So, what's a wellness plan sponsor to do in the meantime? Subscribe to our legislative updates so you'll be the first to know when the new limits are announced, then check out our wellness webinar for our ERISA attorney's advice on keeping your program compliant.