Wellness Programs

What is a Wellness Program?

A wellness program is an organized program intended to assist employees and family members in making voluntary behavior changes that reduce their health risks and enhance their individual productivity. Wellness programs vary widely in design and may offer opportunities or incentives for improving health and wellness, such as increasing fitness, losing weight, managing chronic health conditions or quitting smoking.

Why Offer a Wellness Program?

Workplace wellness is an investment in your most important asset—your employees. Studies have shown that employees are more likely to perform well when they are in optimal health. The following are benefits of implementing a wellness program:

  • Enhanced recruiting by attracting the most talented workers
  • Reduced absenteeism
  • Improved on-the-job time utilization, decision-making and productivity
  • Improved employee morale
  • Reduction in turnover

What Legal Issues Are Involved With a Wellness Program?

Wellness programs must be carefully structured to comply with both state and federal law. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) (as amended by the Affordable Care Act), the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) and state discrimination laws will all impact the design of a wellness program.

How state and federal laws apply to an employer’s wellness program is highly fact-specific and depends on the structure of each wellness program. Because of the potential risks of noncompliance, employers should have their legal counsel review wellness programs before the programs are introduced to employees.

We can help

We offer our clients with complementary access to a suite of customizable wellness program resources. From implementation guides to monthly newsletters and videos, we have the tools you need to create a successful wellness program. Contact us today to learn more.

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