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EPLI: Do Wellness Programs Need to Change?

wellness programs changeEPLI: Do Wellness Programs Need to Change?

Earlier this month, we asked what Employment Practices Liability Opportunities could be expected in 2015, noting that this past year has seen many changes in the healthcare landscape due to the Affordable Care Act taking full effect as well as lawsuits pending from poorly structured wellness programs.

One of the largest wellness program related lawsuit in 2014 was in the case of a company called Honeywell. The EEOC claimed that the company’s wellness program violated the Americans with Disabilities Act as well as the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act by imposing penalties on employees who decline to participate in the company’s biometric screening program.

Honeywell called the lawsuit frivolous and claimed the EEOC is “out of step with the health care marketplace.” However, no matter what personal opinions are on the matter, the fact is that the EEOC is keeping a close eye on wellness programs and how they are implemented.

Despite the lawsuits that have risen from these programs, according to an article from Employee Benefit News, most employers remain committed to wellness programs, with 93% of employers surveyed by the NBGH and Fidelity Investments indicating that they even plan to expand or maintain funding for their wellness-based incentive program over the next few years.

What these employers need to know though, is that with the EEOC’s increased scrutiny, it’s more important now than ever for employers to take a good look at just how they are implementing their wellness programs. It’s equally important for them to have the right insurance protection in case they were to face a lawsuit due to their program.

At PLRisk Advisors, we understand the legal risks your clients in various professions face. Whether your client is the head of a large corporation or a small business owner, Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) should be a part of their comprehensive insurance program. Please contact us today at (855) 403-5982 for more information.

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