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Congress Proposes Bill Eviscerating GINA and ADA Wellness Rules

Posted by Barbara J. Zabawa | Mar 14, 2017 | 0 Comments

The bill, HR 1313 and entitled “Preserving Employee Wellness Programs Act” acts to eviscerate much of the EEOC final Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) rules released last May. In a nutshell, the proposed law would relieve workplace wellness programs from complying with ADA and GINA rules. Instead, both group health plan workplace wellness programs as well as workplace wellness programs not offered in conjunction with a group health plan would only have to worry about complying with certain ACA incentive rules.

Clearing the Confusion on Tying Rewards to Spousal Wellness Program Participation

Posted by Barbara J. Zabawa | Oct 24, 2016 | 0 Comments

Since the EEOC issued the final rule under the Genetic Information and Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), there have been a number of questions relating to what is permissible with respect to rewarding employees for spousal participation in wellness programs. So, under the GINA rule, how can an employer wellness program tie an employee’s reward to his or her spouse’s participation, if at all? This blog post explores several examples.

ADA Safe Harbor Loses Wellness Program Potential in Orion Energy Decision

Posted by Barbara J. Zabawa | Sep 20, 2016 | 1 Comment

The Orion Energy court issued a decision on September 19, 2016 adopting the EEOC's position that the ADA safe harbor did not apply to Orion Energy's workplace wellness program and that the EEOC's final ADA rules were issued within its authority and were reasonable. Nevertheless, the court found Orion Energy's wellness program to be voluntary and in compliance with the ADA even though nonparticipants had to pay 100% of the cost of their health insurance premium.

Workplace Wellness and the Fair Labor Standards Act

Posted by Barbara J. Zabawa | Jul 17, 2016 | 0 Comments

There have been questions lately about completion of incentivized wellness activities “off the clock” and what, if any, Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) issues might arise. One sample question is whether a participatory biometric screen, HRA and coaching program that must be completed off the clock to earn a premium reduction violates any FLSA requirement. A recent Wisconsin case offers some insight.

Crossing Borders: Opportunities for Wellness and Medicine to Collaborate Under the ACA

Posted by Barbara J. Zabawa | Jun 26, 2016 | 0 Comments

Now is the time for wellness professionals and organizations to offer their services to the medical community. The emphasis on patient outcomes and preventive health under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) presents a number of opportunities for professionals and organizations that excel at patient communication, care coordination and disease management to partner and collaborate with physicians, hospitals and insurers.

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