March 20, 2015
This week, HR Policy Association sent letters to Congress expressing its strong support for legislation to clarify that employers can offer financial incentives under wellness programs without violating the Americans With Disabilities Act, with a House hearing on the bill scheduled for next week. The Preserving Employee Wellness Programs Act (H.R. 1189/S. 620) would reaffirm that wellness program incentives under the Affordable Care Act, which allow employee wellness programs to have financial incentives up to 30 percent of the cost of coverage (and 50% for tobacco cessation programs), would not violate the ADA or GINA. Our letter states: "It is important for Congress to eliminate the legal confusion surrounding wellness program financial incentives that has been caused by the recent legal actions taken by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and restore certainty for employers who want to reward their employees for leading healthy lifestyles. We urge members of Congress to pass this legislation this year." Meanwhile, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is considering the issuance of proposed regulations to clarify the legal status of wellness programs.