Incentives for Nondiscriminatory Wellness Programs in Group Health Plans


Includes regulations, consistent with the Affordable Care Act, regarding nondiscriminatory wellness programs in group health coverage. Specifically, these final regulations increase the maximum permissible reward under a health-contingent wellness program offered in connection with a group health plan (and any related health insurance coverage) from 20 percent to 30 percent of the cost of coverage. The final regulations further increase the maximum permissible reward to 50 percent for wellness programs designed to prevent or reduce tobacco use. These regulations also include other clarifications regarding the reasonable design of health-contingent wellness programs and the reasonable alternatives they must offer in order to avoid prohibited discrimination.

Our Position: Support, but needs improvement

We appreciate some of the protections that the Departments of Labor, Treasury, and Health and Human Services have included in the proposed rule and believe that those protections will help prevent discrimination against people with disabilities in workplace wellness programs. More protections are needed, however. And most importantly, it is critical that the final rule makes clear that wellness programs must also comply with requirements and prohibitions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).