Under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), group health plans can't discriminate against employees and their dependents based on health factors, or treat similarly-situated individuals differently. Final regulations, effective for plan years beginning July 1, 2007, implement these non-discrimination provisions. These provisions vary only slightly from interim final regs, which have been in effect since 2001. The regs make significant changes to wellness programs. As a result, employers with wellness programs will need to review them to ensure that they conform to new regulatory mandates.
Health Factors And Similarly-Situated Individuals
HIPAA's non-discrimination provisions cover eight largely overlapping health-related factors: health status; medical conditions, including physical and mental illnesses; claims experience; receipt of health care; medical history; genetic informa...(register to read more)