Final Rules on Wellness Programs Issued

The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Department of Labor (DOL), and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) have recently issued final regulations addressing nondiscriminatory wellness programs in group health coverage. These final regulations, which are effective for plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2014, modify the proposed wellness regulations that were issued in November 2012 and apply to insured and self-insured group health plans. The final regulations increase the maximum permissible reward under a health-contingent wellness program offered in connection with a group health plan and any related health insurance coverage from 20 percent to 30 percent of the cost of coverage. The final regulations also increase the maximum permissible reward to 50 percent for wellness programs designed to prevent or reduce tobacco use and also include other clarifications regarding the reasonable design of health-contingent wellness programs and the reasonable alternatives they must offer in order to avoid prohibited discrimination.

For more information on these regulations, please contact your Trust Fund counsel.

By Patricia Davis | June 24, 2013

Legal Developments