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New Employer Wellness Rule Increases Incentive Maximum

05/30/13

  08:19:01 pm, by MedBen5   , 215 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness, Health Plan Management

New Employer Wellness Rule Increases Incentive Maximum

Employers can use greater rewards – and penalties – to encourage wellness in the workplace, according to a newly released rule under the Afforable Care Act.

New York Times reports that the rule will allow employers to offer financial rewards and penalties for workers up to 50% of the premium as an incentive to exercise, quit smoking, lose weight, eat more healthful food and lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Presently, the maximum permissible reward is 20% of the cost of coverage.

Incentives can be used a part of a group health plan’s “outcome-based wellness program”, rewarding employees who, for example, do not use tobacco or reach a specific cholesterol level. But an employer must also provide “a reasonable alternative standard” so that employees can qualify for rewards if they fail to meet the initial standard.

The rule applies to group health insurance coverage for plan years starting on or after Jan. 1, 2014. The Labor Department reports that more than 90% of employers with 200 or more workers have a worksite wellness program in place.

MedBen Worksite Wellness will work with you to develop an incentive program appropriate to the needs of your group… and rewards need not be financial to be effective. For more information, please contact Vice President of Sales and Marketing Brian Fargus at bfargus@medben.com.

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