Tag: wellness programs

Court: Employers Can Condition Health Benefit on Wellness Participation

An employer may require its workers to participate in a wellness program in order to receive health insurance benefits, a federal district court has ruled, dismissing a lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Granting summary judgment for the employer, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin said it disagreed […]

Decision Steerage and Targeted Programs Improve Wellness Results

To achieve wellness program goals, employers should make healthier choices easier to access, and target populations that have chronic conditions. Encouragement from trusted leaders is seen as improving buy-in by sick population segments, and unions could in some ways be more effective than employers in achieving results, said a panel of experts at an Oct. […]

IRS Fleshes Out Plans for Applying ‘Cadillac Tax,’ Seeks Input

New IRS guidance spells out more issues the agency plans to address in imposing the excise tax on high-cost employer-sponsored health coverage (commonly known as the Cadillac tax). These include: (1) identifying taxpayers who may be liable for the excise tax; (2) aggregating several employers under one plan sponsor’s payment; (3) allocating the tax among […]

Supreme Court Upholds Exchange Subsidies

The U.S. Supreme Court in a 6-3 vote affirmed that subsidies may go to individuals in states with exchanges established by the federal government, and the statute did not restrict subsidies to only states that themselves ran exchanges. Such a reading of the statute was not in line with the intent of the Affordable Care […]

Incentives Are Not the Only Way to Increase Wellness Program Uptake

Wellness incentives, especially penalties, can increase employees’ participation in wellness programs but other factors play a considerable role as well, a study by the RAND Corp. indicates. “The main finding is that, while incentives increase employee uptake among programs with limited services, offering a comprehensive program is almost as effective,” according to a RAND summary. Workplace […]

EEOC Proposes 30-percent Limit for Wellness Incentives

Financial wellness incentives of up to 30 percent of coverage costs would be allowed under the Americans with Disabilities Act, based on rules proposed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. This long-awaited guidance generally defers to HIPAA’s nondiscrimination rules, as amended by health care reform, in determining whether a wellness program is permitted by […]

Connecting Members and Data Promises to Reduce Costs

Tremendous cost-cutting and patient care improvements await insurers and plans that can leverage the recent gains of computing to improve patient self-management of care. The challenge is how to tap the big pools of data, and get “actionable” personalized results out to plan members so they can choose better, cheaper care and manage this care […]

Third EEOC Wellness Lawsuit Draws Industry Ire

An employer group criticized the latest legal challenge to an employee wellness program filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The commission alleges that Honeywell International, Inc.’s biometric testing incentive for employees and their spouses violates the Americans with Disabilities Act and Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act. “This is an outrageous development, and one that […]

Employers, Employees Increasingly at Odds Over Wellness Incentives

As employers continue to ramp up their use of wellness incentives, employee resistance also is on the rise, recent studies suggest. While wellness programs in general enjoy broad public support (76 percent of respondents), a majority (62 percent) oppose requiring employees to pay more for health coverage if they do not participate, according to a […]

CMS: Waiting Periods on Essential Benefits May Be Discrimination

Employer-sponsored health plans and insurers got a double dose of compliance advice on May 16 from the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services in the form of a set of Frequently Asked Questions. The first FAQ clarifies that insurers in the individual and small group market may not impose waiting periods on specific essential health benefits. […]