With legislative changes looming next year, tackling wellness compliance can be made less daunting by implementing seven tips compiled by Businessolver, professionals with the SaaS benefits provider said.
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) guidelines will mandate certain oversight adjustments as of Jan. 1, 2019, resulting in potential confusion for benefits administrators. Experts at Businessolver clarified the likely impact on employers as follows.
With the possibility of health risk assessments being brushed off the table, employers may elect to find alternative ways for their workers to earn incentive rewards for proactive health habits. The pending law has not yet spelled out the future role of voluntary vs. required medical exams, the company said, noting the courts may have to weigh in on that. But many voluntary incentive activities are still feasible.
As far as scheduling, individual companies will need to determine whether their benefits year needs to switch from -- for example -- a typical fiscal year (Oct. 1-Sep. 30) to a calendar system, with room for adjustments.
Whether the ACA (Affordable Care Act) would still preside over benefits administration in the absence of EEOC rules will depend on the provided definition of “voluntary,” with firms offering incentives for medical screenings still at potential risk for noncompliance.
With even mild incentives still up for scrutiny, how will companies know what is permitted?
Businessolver suggests “the amount of the incentive is less important than the type of incentive … Giving employees choice may be more influential.” If screenings are not required but the only way to earn incentive rewards depends on them, the appropriateness as far as the law goes is still “a gray area.”
Finally, tobacco abstinence should remain voluntary and offered with a reasonable range of choices rather than rigid ultimatums for employees’ comfort.
Professionals can download the tip sheet for further details.