November 28, 2021

Volume XI, Number 332

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EEOC Releases Model Wellness Program Notice

As employers are aware, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC’s) recent final regulations interpreting the interaction between wellness programs and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) required employers to start providing an annual notice to employees. On June 16, 2016, the EEOC released its model notice for employer consideration on use. A copy of this notice may be found on the EEOC's website here.

This notice must inform the recipient how medical information is obtained under the wellness program, how it will be used, who will receive it, and the restrictions on disclosure of the information [including whether or not the restrictions comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)]. The notice can be incorporated into notice materials that an employer already uses to comply with the health-contingent wellness program requirements under HIPAA.

This notice must be provided to employees beginning with the first plan year on or after January 1, 2017. We anticipate most employers will provide the notice with their open enrollment materials, but this is not required.  An employer failing to provide such a notice would not be viewed as having a “voluntary” wellness program for purposes of ADA enforcement.

©2021 MICHAEL BEST & FRIEDRICH LLPNational Law Review, Volume VI, Number 172
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About this Author

Kirk Pelikan, Michael Best Law Firm, Labor and Employment Attorney
Partner

Kirk’s practice focuses on legal issues related to all aspects of the employment cycle, from hiring through termination and severance. Substantially experienced in both benefits and employment law, Kirk is well positioned to help clients respond to the opportunities, vulnerabilities and benefit ramifications of particular employment decisions.

Kirk’s focus includes:

  • Developing and maintaining effective compliance strategies related to defined benefit plans, defined contribution plans, executive...

414-223-2529
Charles Stevens, Michael Best Law Firm, Labor and Employment Attorney
Partner

A persuasive advocate, Charlie vigorously defends employers and benefit plans in courts and other forums. He excels at assessing and fixing problems that arise with employee benefit programs and providing a strategically driven approach to benefits compliance and risk management planning.

As exclusive employee benefits counsel to many nationwide employers, Charlie’s practice focus extends to:

  • Counseling on Affordable Care Act (ACA) compliance and strategic planning, particularly with respect to contingent...

414-225-8268
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