The EEOC draft would regulate the value of the incentives that an employer can offer employees, and spouses of employees, who provide health information through voluntary assessment programs.
The regulations would apply to health risk assessment programs that include medical questionnaires or screening exams. The value of the incentives for an employee could equal to up to 30 percent of the total cost of the employee’s coverage.
For a spouse, the maximum value of an incentive would be 30 percent of the difference between the total cost of coverage and the total cost of employee-only coverage.
Comments on the proposed regulations are not due until Dec. 29, but Jim Steinberger, chief executive officer of Steinberger Construction Inc. of Logansport, Ind., has already asked in a comment that the EEOC set incentive limits at least as high as the limits allowed by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) wellness incentive rules.
Many employees and spouses went into the Steinberger Construction wellness program for the incentives, then “became very appreciative because of what they have learned as a result and the positive impact the program has had on their lives,” Steinberger says.
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In the past, the Obama administration has said, in connection with PPACA wellness incentive rules, that incentives can amount to 30 percent of the coverage value for most wellness programs and up to 50 percent of the coverage value for tobacco cessation programs.
Any new EEOC regulations that reduced the cap on spousal health information inducements below the current PPACA limits “would basically be undoing one of the more positive features of the ACA,” Steinberger writes.