United Benefit Advisors Insight and Analysis Blog

Wellness Programs Feeling the Heat as the EEOC Increases Its Efforts - Part 2, Federal Regulations

Posted by: Jennifer Stanley    Dec 30, 2014 1:00:00 PM

As mentioned in the first posting, wellness programs must be analyzed under a myriad of laws and regulations. This post will discuss generally the wellness program landscape in light of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)/Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA), the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act (GINA), the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) and the Nondiscrimination Regulations. This is a 30,000-foot overview of laws and regulations that are in need of microscopic scrutiny when applying them to a wellness program.

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Topics: wellness, UBA, EEOC, Jennifer Kupper, iaCONSULTING, Part 2, Federal Regulations

Wellness Programs Feeling the Heat as the EEOC Increases Its Efforts - Part 1

Posted by: Jennifer Stanley    Dec 18, 2014 1:00:00 PM

While wellness programs have increased in popularity, according to the 2014 UBA Health Plan Survey, actual wellness program adoption has been in a holding pattern. As one might expect, the highest percentage (58.8%) of plans offering wellness benefits came from employers with 1,000 or more employees and the lowest percentage (8%) of plans offering wellness benefits came from employers with fewer than 25 employees. On average, wellness programs are down slightly by 1.3%. It’s no wonder given all the pending litigation and regulation surrounding these programs, including the fact that the health of an employee population is no longer a rating factor for smaller employers.

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Topics: wellness, health plan survey, UBA, EEOC, Jennifer Kupper, iaCONSULTING, 2014, Part 1

EEOC Files Suit Over Wellness Program

Posted by: Linda Rowings    Sep 9, 2014 1:32:00 PM

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has sued an employer because the penalty it applied for not participating in its wellness program was, in the eyes of the EEOC, so high that participation was not, as a practical matter, “voluntary.” Under EEOC rules, an employer may conduct medical examinations, which includes obtaining medical histories and blood draws, only in limited situations. One of those permitted situations is a voluntary wellness program. Because the program did not qualify as “voluntary,” the questions employees were asked about their health on a health risk assessment, a blood draw, and a range of motion assessment violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), according to the EEOC’s Complaint.

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Topics: employee engagement, wellness, ancillary benefits, health care costs, ACA, disability management, voluntary benefits, employee satisfaction, UBA Partner Firm, employee benefits, hr consulting, health care reform, health care, wellness programs, absence management, absenteeism, disability insurance, health risk assessment, PPACA Affordable Care Act, employee health, insurance solutions, medical plan, self funded health plans, HRA

Overcoming Employee Disengagement

Posted by: Bill Olson    Aug 27, 2014 2:31:00 PM

By Peter Freska, CEBS, Advisor
The LBL Group 
A United Benefit Advisors Partner Firm 

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Topics: employee engagement, wellness, ancillary benefits, health care costs, ACA, disability management, voluntary benefits, employee satisfaction, UBA Partner Firm, employee benefits, hr consulting, health care reform, health care, wellness programs, absence management, absenteeism, disability insurance, health risk assessment, employee health, insurance solutions, medical plan, self funded health plans, HRA

The Road to Better Absence Management

Posted by: Bill Olson    Aug 11, 2014 4:14:00 PM

By Stephen Coffman, Group Practice Leader
The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America  

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Topics: employee engagement, wellness, ancillary benefits, health care costs, ACA, disability management, voluntary benefits, employee satisfaction, UBA Partner Firm, employee benefits, hr consulting, health care reform, health care, wellness programs, absence management, absenteeism, disability insurance, employee health, insurance solutions, medical plan, self funded health plans

How Long Commutes Impact Workplace Productivity

Posted by: Geoff Mukhtar    May 19, 2014 12:44:00 PM

What do all employees have in common? They all have a burning dislike for their morning commute! Let’s face it, it’s not the actual commute that most people dislike, it’s the hassle of dealing with traffic, long lines, and rude people that make the trip so despised.

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Topics: employee engagement, wellness, ancillary benefits, health care costs, ACA, voluntary benefits, employee satisfaction, employee benefits, health care reform, health care, wellness programs, absenteeism, employee health, insurance solutions, medical plan, self funded health plans

Taxing Wellness Incentives

Posted by: Josie Martinez    Oct 8, 2013 2:00:00 PM

By Josie Martinez, Senior Partner and Legal Counsel
EBS Capstone, A UBA Partner Firm 

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Topics: wellness, ACA, employee wellness, wellness incentives, UBA, health care reform, PPACA

An Uptick in Obesity Disability Claims

Posted by: Josie Martinez    Aug 26, 2013 9:41:00 AM

By Josie Martinez, Senior Partner and Legal Counsel
EBS Capstone, A UBA Partner Firm

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Topics: wellness, employee wellness, disability management, employee benefits, health care

Happy and Well: Employee Wellness Under Obamacare

Posted by: Bill Olson    Aug 21, 2013 4:00:00 PM

A recent article in Human Resource Executive Online shared a startling statistic: It takes about 16 years to realize a positive return-on-investment on employer-sponsored wellness programs. That’s a long time, and more importantly makes you wonder why we implement wellness programs at all? According to this article, it’s not so much about the health care dollars you gain back for your business with wellness programs, but more about how these initiatives can transform your company culture for the better.

Here’s a quick article excerpt:

“Edington believes wellness programs can't save enough in healthcare costs to make a difference – ‘maybe $200 to $300, at best’ – but he thinks a wellness program can create shareholder value.

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Topics: employee engagement, HR webinars, wellness, employee wellness, UBA, employee benefits

Happy and Well: Employee Wellness Under Obamacare

Posted by: Bill Olson    Aug 21, 2013 2:20:00 PM

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Topics: employee engagement, HR webinars, wellness, employee wellness, UBA, employee benefits