For Immediate Release
Washington, DC – The ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC) today submitted comments to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on proposed rulemaking regarding Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) and the impact on employer-sponsored wellness programs.
As the only national trade association advocating solely for the employee benefit and compensation interests of the country’s largest employers, ERIC speaks for employers who sponsor some of the largest private group health plans in the country. ERIC members are dedicated to providing high-quality, affordable health care to employees, retirees, and their families across the nation. The promotion of wellness for workers and their families has become extremely important to ERIC members, as effective workplace wellness programs can provide significant benefits both inside and outside the workplace.
ERIC appreciates and supports the Commission’s efforts to clarify how its rules will affect employer-sponsored wellness programs and is especially encouraged by its attempts to align the GINA Title II permissible reward limits with those of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). However, ERIC members continue to have serious concerns with respect to where these rules diverge. For instance, the EEOC would set limits on rewards paid in conjunction with Health Risk Assessments (HRAs), whereas the ACA rules do not limit incentives paid for HRAs or other “participatory” wellness programs.
“It cannot be emphasized enough how important it is that the rules from the different parts of the government concerning wellness programs be in alignment with each other,” said Gretchen Young, Senior Vice President of Health Policy, ERIC. “Restricting an employer’s flexibility, however, to best tailor wellness programs to their workforces discourages innovative approaches to health improvement and, ultimately, would serve only to force additional administrative and financial challenges on employers who strive to help their employees achieve better health outcomes.”
You can read ERIC’s letter to the Commission in its entirety here.