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Recently Issued Final Regulations Provide Clarification on Employee Wellness Programs

On May 29, 2013, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), U.S. Department of the Treasury (Treasury), and U.S. Department of Labor issued the final rule governing employee wellness programs under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This rule is intended to provide comprehensive guidance as to the general requirements for wellness programs by restructuring the regulations proposed by the departments in November 2012. These regulations replace the wellness program provisions of paragraph (f) of the 2006 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) nondiscrimination and wellness provisions jointly published by HHS and the Treasury and implement Section 2705 of the Public Health Service Act (PHS). As amended by the ACA, the PHS’ nondiscrimination and wellness provisions largely reflect the 2006 regulations and extend the HIPAA nondiscrimination protections to the individual market. The rule applies to group health insurance coverage for plan years starting on or after January 1, 2014. More ›

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