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    February 2017
 
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New Employer-Based Wellness Programs Regulations Proposed

HHS, along with the Labor and Treasury departments, released proposed rules related to employment-based wellness programs. The regulations outlined in the amended standards for nondiscriminatory “health-contingent wellness programs” that usually require individuals to meet certain health-related standards in order to qualify for a reward in the form of a reduction in premiums.

As a carrot for these changes the new regulations would increase these from 20% to 30% and an additional 20% for smoking cessation success.

The regulations if adopted as proposed would force employers to make wellness more inclusive and require less adherence to standards by providing the ability to provide “reasonable alternative benchmarks.”

Allocation of the rewards to family member participants are on

Rewards would need to be open to all employee levels and individuals.

The proposed changes would also impose greater responsibility to smaller employers with fewer participants in their wellness programs..

Specifically, these proposed regulations would increase the maximum permissible reward under a health-contingent wellness program offered in connection with a group health plan (and any 2 related health insurance coverage) from 20 percent to 30 percent of the cost of coverage. T

he proposed regulations would further increase the maximum permissible reward to 50 percent for wellness programs designed to prevent or reduce tobacco use.

These regulations also include other proposed clarifications regarding the reasonable design of health-contingent wellness programs and the reasonable alternatives they must offer in order to avoid prohibited discrimination.

A link to proposed changes is here: employment-based wellness programs.


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