WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwired - Apr 16, 2015) - Calling it welcome news for both employers and employees, the National Business Group on Health today commended the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for issuing a proposed rule that clarifies that corporate wellness programs that comply with the Affordable Care Acts wellness incentive limits generally meet the rules for voluntary wellness programs under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Brian Marcotte, President and CEO of the National Business Group on Health, commented: "The EEOC proposed rule is welcome news for employers, who can now breathe a sigh of relief. The EEOC has lifted a cloud of uncertainty that has been hovering over employer-sponsored wellness programs since the EEOC's legal actions last year. We applaud the EEOC for issuing the proposed rules that signal a unified government policy in support of wellness programs, which help employees improve their health and wellbeing. Companies view investments in the health of employees as an important element to creating an engaged, productive and competitive workforce. Our research also shows that employees value participating in these programs that help them stay healthy."

Wellness programs with incentives are prevalent: According to a survey released last month by The National Business Group on Health and Fidelity Investments, 97% of employers offer a health risk assessment, biometric screening or other wellness program in 2015. More than three-in-four (79%) employers use incentives to engage employees in these programs. 

According to Marcotte, employer-sponsored wellness programs and the associated financial incentives are intended to maintain and improve the health of employees and their families and not to penalize them. Well-designed wellness programs, those generally adopted by large employers, safeguard privacy and are designed to promote health.

About the National Business Group on Health
The National Business Group on Health is the nation's only non-profit organization devoted exclusively to representing large employers' perspective on national health policy issues and providing practical solutions to its members' most important health care problems. The Business Group helps drive today's health agenda while promoting ideas for controlling health care costs, improving patient safety and quality of care and sharing best practices in health benefits management with senior benefits, HR professionals, and medical directors from leading corporations. Business Group members, which include 67 Fortune 100 companies, provide health coverage for more than 50 million U.S. workers, retirees and their families. For more information, visit www.businessgrouphealth.org.

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Ed Emerman