Do Changes in Healthcare Reform Mean Changes for Employee Wellness?

Wellness rules and regulations are ever-changing. Let’s examine two recent updates that may alter the way you regulate your employee wellness program.

The AARP’s suit –The EEOC’s current regulation allows employers to incentivize employees up to a maximum of 30% of the cost of self-only coverage. That’s scheduled to change. Near the close of 2017, AARP filed a suit claiming that the EEOC’s 30% rule makes an employee wellness program less than voluntary. In their estimation, some employees would find not participating in the program to be fiscally impossible. The court sided with AARP and vacated the ruling from the EEOC with an effective date of 2019. The court further ordered the EEOC to release new proposed rules prior to 2019. We are expecting an update from the EEOC by August of this year; as of now, the 30% rule is still in effect.

Required Communication – In 2017, the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) prevented the information collection of employee health and genetic-related data, but then allowed the disclosure of this information if it was collected on a voluntary basis. Beginning January 1st, 2017, new ADA rules dictate that employers with wellness programs that collect health information from employees must provide these employees with a notice describing what information will be collected. The notice must also reveal how the information will be kept confidential. The employee must receive this notice on or after January 1, 2017 or before they decide to divulge any medical information.

For more information regarding this required communication and to find a copy of the notice, visit the EEOC website.

Here at W3, we make clients aware of changes that may impact their employees or business as a whole. If you have any questions or comments about wellness program requirements, please email me at