Wellness Programs Get a Boost in Health Care Reform Law

119966684The Affordable Care Act of 2010 will, as of January 1, 2014, expand employers’ ability to reward employees who meet health  goals by participating in wellness programs–and, in effect, to require employees who don’t meet these goals to pay more for their employer-sponsored health coverage. Some consumer advocates argue that this ability to differentiate in health coverage costs among employees is unfair and will amount to employers’ policing workers’ health.Under health care reform, the potential incentive for employer wellness programs increases to 30 percent of the premium for employee participation in the program or meeting certain health standards. Employers must offer an alternative standard for those employees whom it is unreasonably difficult or inadvisable to meet the standard. Following a governmental study on wellness programs, the incentive may be increased to as much as 50 percent.

Please read a comprehensive article about this topic on the SHRM website.

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