The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (or EEOC) released their anticipated proposed rules regarding how the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to workplace wellness programs. While rules are not yet in their final form and employers are not required to comply just yet, the EEOC states that employers are free to comply with the proposed rules now to reduce any risk until the final rules are issued, which is anticipated to be later this year.
Here are the highlights of the proposed rules:
- Alignment with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) incentive rules. The ADA would permit financial incentives for wellness programs as long as the incentive does not exceed 30% of the cost of employee coverage.
- Employers may not deny or limit coverage for nonparticipants in an employee wellness program.
- Group health plan wellness programs that collect medical information must provide employees with a notice. The notice must be written in an understandable manner and describe how the information will be used and how the employer will prevent improper disclosure of medical information.
- Employers and vendors must protect confidentiality of health information that is collected through wellness programs. Employers should be within the rules of HIPAA privacy.
- The EEOC expects employers and vendors to have clear privacy policies and procedures related to collection, storage and disclosure of medical information. Policies and procedures should address how to handle breaches of confidentiality.
Read more from Barbara J. Zabawa from the Center for Health Law Equity about the proposed rules here.
If you have any questions or comments about any of the proposed rules you can submit them directly to the federal eRulemaking portal here. Comments are due by June 19, 2015.