On May 16th, 2016 the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) ruled on the much anticipated laws regarding the ADA, GINA and financial incentives associated with wellness programs.
Many consumer advocacy groups were arguing that providing steep financial incentives for participation in certain wellness programs essentially made those programs involuntary.
The EEOC made its final ruling in favor of wellness programs stating that the programs are, indeed, voluntary and that the financial incentives may continue in accordance with the Affordable Care Act.
There were two rules set forth by the EEOC. One of the rules defines what wellness programs must do to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). And the other rule defines what must be done to comply with the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA).
The important takeaway is that wellness programs may continue to provide financial incentives or surcharges of up to 30% of the cost for an individual’s insurance.
Tobacco programs may continue to reward or penalize up to 50%, however, if a medical test is administered to determine tobacco use then the maximum amount is dropped down to 30%.