January 29, 2016
This week, HR Policy submitted comments to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission strongly urging the agency to withdraw the sections of its proposed Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) rule that would inappropriately limit the financial incentives employers are allowed to offer under the Affordable Care Act. The Associations' comments called on the EEOC to recognize that health risk assessments and diagnostic testing programs are participatory wellness programs permissible under the ACA's regulations, and should be treated as such under the agency's proposed GINA rule. According to Mark Wilson, Vice President of Health and Employment Policy for the HR Policy Association, "If the goal of the proposed rule is to strike the appropriate balance between the GINA regulations and the ACA wellness program rules, then much of the proposed GINA rule is unnecessary and should be withdrawn." Congressional Republicans have also introduced legislation (H.R. 1189 and S. 620) which would declare that wellness programs that offer a reward to participants do not violate the ADA or GINA, if the program complies with the ACA. The EEOC is expected to publish its final ADA and GINA wellness program rules later this spring. The Association filed comments last year on the proposed ADA rules, expressing similar concerns.