EEOC Wellness Rules Apply for Now

job-interview-iStock_24754389XSmall-300x214New federal rules on the fees employers can charge employees who do not participate in wellness programs took effect on Jan. 1.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC’s) new regulations, released May 2016, clarify that employers can offer workers incentives worth up to 30 percent of the cost of their cheapest individual health insurance plans, or 60 percent for couples, to participate in wellness programs without violating federal anti-discrimination laws. AARP, acting on behalf of its members, filed a lawsuit to block the rules, claiming they will subject workers to invasions of their medical privacy, forcing them to disclose confidential health information or pay more for their insurance. The AARP lawsuit is not settled.

Wellness programs have become increasingly popular among employers in recent years. They can take many forms including companies providing incentives to workers to quit smoking, lose weight or undergo preventive health screenings. Because participation in the programs involves employees divulging confidential medical information the EEOC’s rules provide guidance in an area that previously carried uncertainty.

MHN, Health Net, Inc.’s behavioral health subsidiary, offers a wellness program that is included with its standard EAP – not an optional extra. Backed by the expertise of Mayo Clinic, MHN’s integrated wellness services consist of personal wellness coaching (for weight management, nutrition, exercise, and more), health assessments and an interactive wellness portal with tools and trackers, videos, and online seminars.

To learn more, please visit, call 1-800-327-7526 or email

This article is for informational and self-help purposes only. It should not be treated as a substitute for financial, medical, psychiatric, psychological, or behavioral health care advice, or as a substitute for consultation with a qualified professional.

Managed Health Network, LLC (MHN) is a subsidiary of Health Net, Inc. The MHN family of companies includes Managed Health Network, MHN Services and MHN Government Services. Health Net and Managed Health Network are registered service marks of Health Net, Inc. or its affiliates. All rights reserved.



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Brad Kieffer