BNA Insights Publishes Akin Gump Attorneys’ Article on Wellness Programs Final Rule

An article by Akin Gump health care and life sciences partner John Jacob and associate Anna Dolinsky, “Employers Offering Wellness Programs Through Self-Insured Group Health Plans Must Comply with Final Rule on Incentives to Avoid Claims of Discrimination, Violations of Other Laws,” has been published by Bloomberg BNA in both Health Insurance Report and Pension & Benefits Daily.

The article discusses the June 3, 2013, issuance by the departments of Health and Human Services, Treasury and Labor of a Final Rule regarding Incentives for Nondiscriminatory Wellness Programs in Group Health Plans.  As the authors note, “This Final Rule implements the Affordable Care Act's (ACA's) modifications of the wellness program exception to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act's (HIPAA's) nondiscrimination provisions prohibiting group health plans and insurers from discriminating (e.g., through restrictions on eligibility or higher cost-sharing requirements) against individual participants and beneficiaries based on a health factor.”

The authors explore a number of topics related to implementation of the Final Rule, including which employers come under the Final Rule, requirements for health-contingent wellness programs and the interplay between covered wellness programs with other state and federal laws, including the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Akin Gump’s May 31, 2013, client alert on this topic can be read in its entirety here.