Wellness Program Design and Compliance


Employer-sponsored wellness programs have become increasingly common as employers attempt to control rising health-care costs and improve employees' overall health and productivity. Designing and operating a wellness program requires careful consideration of compliance obligations under a number of different laws including, but not limited to, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (Code), the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA), the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA), the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2009 (GINA), and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). This practice note discusses how to design and operate compliant wellness programs, with a particular focus on HIPAA, ACA, GINA, and ADA requirements.