AGC Submits Comments to EEOC on Proposed Wellness Rule

On June 19, AGC submitted comments to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) regarding its proposed rule to amend the regulations and interpretive guidance implementing Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as they relate to employee wellness programs.  The proposed rule, if implemented, will amend the ADA regulations that provide guidance on the extent to which employers may use incentives to encourage employees to participate in wellness programs that include disability-related inquiries and/or medical examinations.

AGC’s comments address concerns regarding the proposed provisions that may discourage employers from including wellness programs as part of their overall health care management system.  This would result in the loss of valuable employee financial incentives and increased costs of company-provided health insurance.  As a result, AGC asked the EEOC to consider the following recommendations prior to issuing a final rule:

  • Increase the amount of the total reward incentive of health-contingent wellness plans from 30% to 50% – aligning it with that of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountable Act (HIPAA) and the Affordable Care Act (ACA); 
  • Address wellness plans that cover dependents – the proposed rule was silent on this subject;
  • Allow employers to decide, on a case-by-case basis, whether or not to offer a full incentive to employees who decline to participate in a wellness program;
  • Reduce the burdensome requirements for employers associated with proving that participating in a wellness plan is voluntary; and
  • Waive the employer notice requirement for wellness programs that offer an incentive of 20% or less.

For more information on the proposed rule, including a Fact Sheet and FAQ’s, visit the EEOC’s website.