SIIA Urges Congressional Action to Shape Wellness Programs

Earlier this week, the Self-Insurance Institute of America (SIIA) joined a letter to Senate leadership urging a confirmation vote on the Administration’s Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Commissioner nominees in order to help the agency undertake an important re-write of wellness incentive program rules. A copy of the letter can be found here.

As background, the EEOC issued guidance on wellness incentive programs in May 2016. However, a federal court has recently tossed out a key portion of those rules (AARP v. EEOC), finding that current program rules must end by January 1, 2019. This decision leaves plan administrators, and others tasked with writing and implementing wellness, with a high level of uncertainty surrounding employee wellness programs.

While the court granted the EEOC until January 1, 2019 to clarify the level of financial incentives for wellness participation by employees, it remains highly unlikely that such a complicated re-write will be finalized prior to that time unless the pending EEOC nominees are in place to do so.

Without revised and clarified guidance from the EEOC, the concern is that additional litigation will endanger existing health and wellness programs as currently set up.

To learn more about the upcoming changes in the EEOC wellness rules, please mark your calendar for a SIIA webinar on the issue scheduled for September 5th at 3:00 PM EDT. More information on this webinar will be communicated shortly.

For more information, or if you have questions, please contact Ryan Work, SIIA vice president of federal government affairs, at rwork@siia.org.