How to Review Your Wellness Program for Compliance
Employers that offer health benefits to their employees may also offer wellness programs to contain health plan costs, help employees stay healthy and increase employees’ knowledge as health care consumers.
Wellness programs also referred to as: disease-management programs, employee wellness plans or programs, corporate wellness programs, or a range of other names, take many forms.
For instance, they may cover only employees, or they may also cover other family members. Typically, wellness programs offer either:
- limited benefits such as informational brochures or periodic educational sessions, or
- a wide range of benefits beyond information and education to include preventive care and wellness rewards.
We've previously written tips on how to start a wellness program if you don't already have one in place.
What a lot of our clients are surprised to learn though is that wellness programs also interact with several federal laws. The big hitters include:
To learn more about what compliance areas you need to be aware of with your wellness program, NFP put together a comprehensive whitepaper.Wellness Program Guidance Addressed in the White Paper include:
- What is a participation-only wellness program?
- What is a standard-based wellness program?
- What are alternative standards?
- What are some examples of standard-based wellness programs that meet HIPAA requirements?
- What are some examples of standard-based wellness programs that would not meet HIPAA requirements?
- Can an employer charge a higher premium, i.e., a surcharge, for employees who smoke?
- Can an employer require that an employee pass an annual physical exam to be eligible to enroll in or to stay enrolled in the group health insurance?
- What is a health risk assessment?
- Can a health risk assessment ask questions about genetic information
- Can a financial inducement be provided for completion of a health risk assessment as part of a wellness plan?
- Can an employer ask an employee to participate in a voluntary medical examination?
- Can an employer require that every benefits-eligible person take a health risk assessment and/or submit to biometric screening?
- Can an employer ask employees to take a health risk assessment if it is voluntary?
Click below to download a free copy of the white paper!