Wellness Programs: Keeping Up With the Times

On November 20, 2012, the IRS, DOL and HHS jointly issued proposed regulations under the Affordable Care Act building on existing HIPAA regulations of wellness programs. The new proposed regulations provide clearer guidance and greater flexibility in some areas, but leave many questions unanswered. Earlier, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a decision that a wellness program surcharge is exempt under the ADA "bona fide benefit plan" safe harbor.

Increasing numbers of private employers are implementing wellness programs aimed at promoting good health and reducing costs of employer-sponsored health coverage. According to a recent survey by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the percentage of private industry employers providing wellness programs increased from 23% to 31% between 2005 and 2010.

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Topics:  ADA, ADEA, Affordable Care Act, DOL, GINA, Healthcare, HHS, HIPAA, IRS, Safe Harbors, Wellness Programs

Published In: Administrative Agency Updates, Civil Rights Updates, Health Updates, Labor & Employment Updates, Tax Updates

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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