On April 17, 2015, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released proposed rules under the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) that provide guidance regarding the extent to which employers may use incentives to encourage employees to participate in wellness programs.

For the most part, the proposed rules are good for employers because they are much more accepting of wellness programs than the EEOC’s position in its prior wellness program lawsuits against employers. However, there are some provisions which are more restrictive than the wellness regulations issued under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), as amended by the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

In response to the proposed rules, The Alliance submitted a letter to the EEOC during its recent comment period, in order to address inconsistencies that still exist between the ADA and HIPAA/ACA. The EEOC is likely to issue its final regulations in late 2015, and we hope that these regulations move further in the direction of harmonizing the various federal laws that apply to wellness programs.

See The Alliance Comment Letter: EEOC Proposed Wellness Regs Comment Letter (.pdf)

Annette Cruz

Annette Cruz

Annette Cruz was The Alliance health policy consultant. Cruz was responsible for analyzing health policy issues at the state and national level and working with The Alliance Health Policy Committee to develop strategies to influence high impact issues.

Cruz began public service as a staff person in the Wisconsin State Legislature, where she specialized in health and social services policy issues. She later served as a health policy advisor and policy director for Governors Tommy Thompson and Scott McCallum. Most recently she served as the director of government affairs in a consultant role for Blue Cross & Blue Shield United of Wisconsin.

Cruz received her master's degree in health services administration from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she also earned a bachelor's degree in Behavioral Science & Law.
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