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HR DEPT.: Final Rules on Employer Wellness Programs

from Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued final rules describing how the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) apply to employer-sponsored wellness programs that request health information from employees and their spouses. The new rules are consistent with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), as amended by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The ADA and GINA both allow employers to ask health-related questions and conduct medical examinations, such as biometric screenings, if the employer is providing health or genetic services as part of a voluntary wellness program. The final ADA rule provides that wellness programs that are part of a group health plan and that ask questions about employees' health or include medical examinations may offer incentives. The final GINA rule establishes the maximum incentive attributable to a spouse's participation. more

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