Employers have had to watch every step they take for fear that any misstep will result in a huge blow up. The ability for employers to effectively incentivize their employees to a healthier lifestyle really now lays in the knowledge that a third party vendor must administer the wellness plan if any variable incentives would be offered. And, as has been proven, the outcome-based incentives are what produce a positive change. Lifestyle improvements equal reduction in trend, increased presenteeism, employee health and wellbeing, and overall ROI.

If employer sponsored wellness programs are a minefield, then the latest rules have just detonated a few grenades. Outcomes-based wellness programs produce ROI. Plans with no incentives expect 20-30% total participation, which usually end up being the healthy employees. This kind of turnout gives smoking cessation tools or diabetic tools to the wrong people. It’s not the healthy that need a doctor but the sick.

Incentives can boost engagement to 60-70%, or 90-95% if well thought out. Higher participation provides ROI and early detection because the right tools are in the right hands. And to the employer, the wellness world finally makes sense. Their goal of providing employees with continued access to affordable health care coverage is accomplished for yet another year, right? Well not so fast…

Read more ... Contact Us

Steep Penalties for Not Participating Said to Make Program Involuntary
and Violate Disabilities Act

MILWAUKEE -- Manitowoc, Wis.-based Orion Energy Systems violated federal law by requiring an employee to submit to medical exams and inquiries that were not job-related and consistent with business necessity as part of a so-called "wellness program," which was not voluntary, and then by firing the employee when she objected to the program, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it filed today. 

In a lawsuit filed in Green Bay, Wis., today, the federal agency contends that Orion instituted a wellness program that required medical examinations and made disability-related inquiries.  When employee Wendy Schobert declined to participate in the program, Orion shifted responsibility for payment of the entire premium for her employee health benefits from Orion to Schobert.  Shortly thereafter, Orion fired Schobert.  

Read more ... Contact Us