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Flashcards in Workplace Wellness Programs Deck (32)
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What are three key benefits that a comprehensive workplace wellness program can produce over time?

1. Fewer absences. Science has demonstrated that people who are physically healthy miss far fewer days.

2. Improved productivity. An employee with a positive attitude and optimal physical and mental effort can boost morale and productivity among team members in his or her work unit.

3. Worker satisfaction and retention. Lessens the additional work of fellow team members who are less healthy and lacking in morale.


Examples of free wellness initiatives:

1. Holding regular workplace stretch breaks
2. Organizing a walking program
3. Instituting policies against smoking at work
4. Organizing potluck lunches featuring healthy foods
5. Identifying on-site assets available for wellness programs (such as nearby walking trails)


What is the "normal" cost range per employee per year for an employer to sponsor a wellness program

0$ to $450

The most significant drivers of cost tend to be for incentives, equipment and outside service providers like consultants.


What is the primary goal of a workplace wellness program

To transform your workplace culture into one that promotes health living


What are some initial decisions that should be made regarding developing a workplace wellness program?

Who is the program designed for?
-the demographic that has struggled with health or wellness issues

Which health issues to address?
-Promoting healthy lifestyle for all
Targeted responses to actual health risks and conditions facing current employees


6 key ingredients that typically comprise a well structured wellness program

1. Health screenings
2. Educational and self help tools
3. Organized activities
4. Individual followup and treatment
5. Incentives
6. Supportive environment


Health risk assessment

A confidential form, most often prepared and administered by an outside vendor, that employees fill out, answering questions about their health related behaviors. Encourage employees to get preventative treatment.


Biometric testing

For more detailed heath status results, many employers bring in a nurse or other qualified professionals to collect "biometrics". Test results for blood pressure, body fat percentage, cholesterol levels and other risk factors.


What are the 3 federal laws that directly address workplace wellness programs

2. ADA


Which federal laws deal with standards for protecting the prvacy of personal health information



In 2013, the Department of Labor (DOL) said health-contingent wellness programs can vary group health plan premiums or cost sharing based on health status and will not be considered to discriminate based on health status if they meet certain standards. Among these conditions are the following:

1. the reward is limited

2. Max reward is 30% (employee/employer share) of self-only group health plan coverage

3. Max can be increased to 30% of the cost of family coverage if spouses and dependents are eligible

4. Man can be further increased to 50% if tobacco-related components are included in the wellness program.


What is reasonable design

Having a reasonable chance of improving the health or preventing disease, not being overly burdensome or a subterfuge for discrimination, and not being highly suspect in the method chosen to promote health.


What are participatory wellness programs

Not required to meet any of the five standards that apply to health-contingent wellness programs and generally are not considered to implicate ERISA nondiscrimination rules.


In _____, the EEOC issued enforcement guidance that a wellness program is considered voluntary under ADA :as long as an employer neither requires participation nor penalizes employees who do not participate.



In ______, EEOC brought enforcement actions against several employers that penalized workers who would not participate in wellness programs that included medical inquiries. One action involved an employer that used financial incentives to encourage participation.



in May 2016, _____ issued final rules on regulations to reinterpret ADA standards for voluntary wellness programs. The rules require any wellness program that involves _______ _________ to be resonably designed, as defined under the ERISA/ACA rule.

2. Medical inquiries


The ADA rules also specifies a reasonably designed wellness program must not be designed mainly to _____ ______ onto employees based on their health. And if the program _______ heath information it must also provide participants with their results, followup information, or advice designed to improve health or use collected information to design a program that addresses at least a subset of health conditions identified.

1. Shift costs
2. Collects


Employers cannot deny ________ for group health plan benefits or take adverse employment action, or retaliate against, intimidate, or threaten employees who refuse to participate in workplace wellness programs.

1. Eligibility


The maximum financial incentive is ____ of the total cost (employer and employee share) of self-only group heath plan coverage. This limit applies to both _____-_______ and _______________ wellness programs.

1. 30%
2. Health contingent
3. Participatory


A wellness program is considered _________ under ADA if the amount of an incentive offered for participation---alone or in combination with incentives offered for health contingent wellness programs does not __________ this maximum.

1. Voluntary
2. Exceed


The rule further specifies that incentives need not be conditioned on participating in the _______ _______ _____.

1. Group health plan


These requirements also apply to wellness programs that involve medical inquiries such as HRAs (health risk assessments)

Notice requirements


In May 2016, EEOC issued a final rule to make similiar changes in workplace wellness standards under GINA as under ADA.

What did the GINA wellness rule address?

An employer may offer inducements to an employees spouse to participate in its workplace wellness program

This rule also adopts the ERICA/ACA definition of a reasonably designed wellness program

Maximum incentive applicable to the spouse would be 30% of the cost of self only coverage


What are the federal privacy standards that are applicable to workplace wellness programs?

1. Covered employers are required to keep private all medical info about wellness program or gathered for other permitted employment-related purposes.


Do HIPAA privacy rules apply to wellness programs? Explain

No - A group health plan generally cannot disclose personal health information to a person's employer without that person's authorization, but a group health plan is permitted to disclose protected information to the employer without authorization if the employer certifies to the plan that it will safeguard the information and not use or share it for an employment-related activity.


The RAND study identified configurations of workplace wellness programs, based on whether and the extent to which programs offer three types of services:

1. Screening to identify health risks

2. Lifestyle management services to reduce risks through encouraging healthier behavior

3. Disease management services to support people who already have chronic conditions.


Describe the types of issues wellness programs are dealing with:

1. Student loan repayment assistance is being offered by 13% of respondents, and another 21% are considering adding it in the future.

2. Financial education or counseling is provided by 76% of respondents.

3. Emotional or mental well-being programs are offered by 87% of respondents.


What is the most popular emotional well-being program currently being offered by large employers?

Stress management
(Resiliency training)


How are incentives changing as workplace wellness programs expand to include features of emotional well-being?

Moving away from outcomes-based incentives--dependent on achieving certain goals--in favor of incentives awarded for program participation


How does the perspective of Millennial workers differ from that of Baby Boomers regrading financial concerns

Just under half of Millennial (44%) say they want their employer to help them address their financial concerns