EEOC Proposes Rule That Allows Spouses To Be Included in Incentive Programs

This month, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) took a big step toward giving employers clarity on how employers can use incentives in employee health programs.

Earlier this year, the EEOC proposed a rule that allows employers to offer incentives to participate in health programs to employees’ spouses.

The updated rule was meant to affirm the Affordable Care Act’s edict that an employer can set a reward or penalty for participating in a health program as long as it’s no more than 30 percent of what the employee pays for participation in their group health plan.

However, the original rule still conflicted with part of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), which prohibits employers from offering incentives in return for genetic information — including the current or past health status of spouses and other family members.

But with this update, employers don’t have to limit their incentive programs to just employees, and can extend the incentive programs to spouses — even if those incentives require providing information about his or her current or past health status information.

Incentive Programs and Spouses — How Does it Work?

An employer can offer, as part of the health plan, an incentive to an employee whose spouse meets the following criteria:

  • Covered under the employee’s health plan
  • Receives health or genetic services offered by the employer, including as part of a health program
  • Provides information about his or her current or past health status

It’s worth re-iterating that under this proposed rule the total incentive for an employee and spouse may not exceed 30 percent of the total cost of the plan in which the employee and spouse are enrolled.

Now that key rules regulating employee health programs are on their way to being finalized, employers, employees, and their spouses can make the most of these programs. But how do employers manage these programs?

Using Jiff, employers can provide the right benefits to the right employees and their spouses at the right time and get them to use these benefits with incentives and rewards.

Jiff also helps employers manage all these different types of benefits, programs, and apps, so that they can see a return on investment and lower healthcare costs.

Read our FAQ to get more information on the EEOC’s rules for health incentives.