Workplace Wellness Programs Subject To New Rules

Rob Hart
October 27, 2018 - 11:25 am

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- People who participate in employee wellness programs at work may see some new rules starting next year.

Some employers offer wellness programs to employees in order to lower the overall cost of health insurance coverage. Wellness programs were allowable as long as they were voluntary.

The new rules regarding employee wellness programs will take effect next year.  It's the result of a lawsuit over whether a wellness program tied to lower health insurance premiums was truly voluntary.

The AARP sued the equal employment opportunity commission over the definition of voluntary - their argument was that tying a wellness program to health insurance premiums can't be voluntary.

Health care consultant and wellness program critic Al Lewis says the relationship between employee and wellness program is different than a relationship with a doctor...

"They're doing it under the guise of your workplace," Lewis said. "You can't just leave a wellness vendor and go to another wellness vendor."

A federal judge struck down the financial incentives to join a workplace wellness program.