On November 26, 2012, the IRS and Departments of Labor and Health and Human Services published in the Federal Register proposed regulations that would permit group health plans to provide greater incentives for participation in wellness programs. The proposed regulations include a welcome implementation of statutory changes that were made by the Affordable Care Act, but they leave unanswered important questions about compliance with the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008, as amended (GINA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended (ADA). Employers putting wellness programs in place should be mindful of the possibility that a program might comply with the proposed regulations but still violate a requirement of GINA or the ADA.
If finalized, the proposed regulations will be effective for plan years beginning in 2014 or later–the same effective date as the changes to the statute. Until then, existing regulations that were issued in 2006 continue to apply. Comments on the proposed regulations are due by January 25, 2012.
Continue Reading Proposed Regulations Will Permit Greater Incentives for Participation in Wellness Programs