House Republicans act to protect employer wellness programs

The majority of employers offer a wellness program to employees, which help both contain costs and promote a healthy workforce. Some believe that Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) rules will undermine the use of employee wellness programs. Representative Virginia Foxx (R-NC), chairwoman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce has proposed a bill, the Preserving Employee Wellness Programs Act (H.R. 1313), that will “reaffirm existing law to allow employee wellness programs to be tied to responsible financial incentives.”

According to an Education and Workforce Committee Fact Sheet, H.R. 1313 would:

Protect employee wellness plans. By eliminating red tape, employers will have the legal certainty they need to reward workers for healthy lifestyle choices.

Reassert congressional intent. Congress approved bipartisan policies to encourage the development of employee wellness programs. EEOC’s actions have had the opposite effect, contrary to congressional intent.

Encourage lower health care costs. Wellness plans can lead to lower health insurance premiums for employees and provide individuals with greater control over their health care dollars.

Promote a healthy workforce. Employee wellness programs can improve the health and well-being of America’s workers, and as a result, strengthen our nation’s economy.

SOURCE: https://edworkforce.house.gov/uploadedfiles/preserving_employee_wellness_programs_act.pdf

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