When does a voluntary wellness program become involuntary? — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily

When does a voluntary wellness program become involuntary?

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in Employee Benefits Program,Human Resources

Employer wellness programs, which are designed to stem rising health care costs by encouraging healthy behaviors among employees, are rising in popularity. Such programs will receive another boost when certain provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) take effect next year.

However, it is possible that em­­ployers offering wellness programs that comply with the ACA may still run afoul of other federal laws, such as the ADA.

Employers are increasingly using fi­­nancial incentives, such as discounted health coverage, to drive employee participation in wellness programs.

This raises a critical question: At what point is the financial incentive to participate or the penalty for nonparticipation so great as to render a wellness program involuntary? Per­­haps more to the point, how does the EEOC define that tipping point?

Two kinds of wellness plans

Simply put, the details matter. Under the ACA, which affects plan years beginnin...(register to read more)

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