ACA Wellness Rule Called Too Flexible by Some

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act provides incentives and flexibility for employees to participate in workplace wellness programs offered by their group health plans.

But some employer groups are objecting to certain provisions of a final rule (PDF) issued today by HHS, the Internal Revenue Service, and the Labor and Treasury departments that provides incentives for nondiscriminatory wellness programs. They contend that the rule imposes an excessive burden on employers to provide flexibility to employees for their participation and how they qualify for financial rewards.

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Source: Modern Healthcare

Under the rule, wellness programs are divided into two major categories: participation-based and health-contingent. The first type is available to everyone under a group health plan regardless of their health status. These include programs that reimburse for the cost of gym membership or reward employees who participate in an online health education program, without requiring them to take further action.