As employers and lawmakers seek creative solutions to rising health-care costs, corporate wellness programs have exploded in popularity. Many employers have embraced corporate wellness programs as a means of controlling health care costs, promoting a healthier lifestyle, and reducing the productivity losses that result from preventable, chronic health problems in the workforce. While corporate wellness programs can take many different forms, the one constant is that employers must carefully consider a variety of statutes, regulations, and practical issues before implementing a successful wellness program. While employers and employees alike can benefit from a well-designed program, companies should be aware of and address these concerns as a part of the implementation or modification of a corporate wellness program.
What Is a Corporate Wellness Program?
Corporate wellness programs can take many different forms, but the term generally encompasses any workplace activity or policy designed to encourage healthy behavior and improve health outcomes. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations promulgated in 2006 divided the programs into two general categories: participatory wellness programs and health-contingent wellness programs.
Originally published in the Employment & Labor Relations Law Spring 2013, Vol. 11 No. 2.
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