EEOC Issues Proposed Rule on Wellness Programs

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Oct. 30 issued a proposed rule under the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) that would authorize employers who offer wellness programs to provide inducements for an employee’s spouse, who is also a participant in the employer’s health plan, to disclose their current or past health information. Under the proposal, total incentives provided to an employee and his or her spouse for participating in a wellness program that is a part of a group health program that collects this information may not exceed 30 percent of the total cost of the health plan in which they are enrolled. 

The proposed rule stipulates that an employer must receive prior, knowing, voluntary and written authorization from the individual from whom genetic information is being obtained. Additionally, any services that an employer offers under their wellness program must be “reasonably designed” to promote health or prevent disease.

Members of the public have until Dec. 29 to submit written comments on the proposed rule. 

More information on how the proposal will affect your business can be found on the EEOC’s Small Business Fact Sheet