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WellLiving Helps Employers Offer Fair And Achievable Incentives

10/09/14

  11:27:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 319 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness, Incentives

WellLiving Helps Employers Offer Fair And Achievable Incentives

A recent Wall Street Journal article examines the balancing act undertaken by employers that offer wellness incentives. The author highlights two employers that were sued because of wellness program disputes -- and both suits allege violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Wellness programs have increased in popularity over the past decade, with Affordable Care Act regulations that allow bigger rewards (and conversely, bigger penalties) spurring at least some of the growth. But as often happens, the rise of such programs has led to confusion about the rights of employers to set certain benchmarks.

Offering a "carrot" -- typically, lower premiums for employees who demonstrate a commitment to better health -- can go a long way toward a wellness program's long-term success and promote a more productive team. However, if the needs and limitations of a diverse workforce is not carefully considered, incentives can lead to employee dissatisfaction and possible legal trouble.

Obviously, perspective matters here. You can say that you're rewarding those who meet established wellness guidelines with lower premiums -- but others can just as easily counter that you're punishing those who do not with higher rates. In either case, it's critical that your wellness program give every plan member an equal opportunity to achieve your stated goals, or provide alternative goals for members who have physical disabilities.

MedBen WellLiving understands both the benefits and the potential pitfalls of incentives. We have extensive experience in helping clients design wellness programs that provide support through financial rewards. But our recommendations are always backed by a knowledgeable Compliance Department that can advise on the legalities of the incentives, and offer guidance on ways to ensure that such incentives are equitable for everyone.

MedBen WellLiving can work with you to put together a wellness strategy that motivates every employee fairly. To learn more about how you can make incentives work for your business, contact Vice President of Sales & Marketing Brian Fargus at bfargus@medben.com.

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