A sample notice is now available from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to help employers satisfy new requirements for wellness programs under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA applies generally to employers with 15 or more employees who worked for the employer for at least 20 calendar weeks (in this year or last).
New ADA Wellness Program Notice Among other things, the new rules require employers offering wellness programs that collect employee health information to provide a notice to employees informing them what information will be collected, how it will be used, who will receive it, and what will be done to keep it confidential.
The requirement to provide the notice takes effect as of the first day of the plan year that begins on or after January 1, 2017. Employees must receive the notice before providing any health information, and with enough time to decide whether to participate in the wellness program.
Q&As Provide Additional Guidance To help employers comply with the new notice requirement, the EEOC also released a set of Q&As which clarify, among other things:
- Who must provide the notice;
- The format in which the notice should be provided;
- Whether an employee’s signed authorization is required as part of the notice requirement; and
- Whether the current notice required under the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) satisfies the new notice requirement under the ADA.
More information on the new ADA rules is available in previously released Q&As and a fact sheet from the EEOC. Visit our section on Wellness Programs within the Client Resource Center for additional details.