Filed Under:Health Insurance, Individual Health

To incent or not to incent

A question for employers and their benefits advisors

There is a lot of confusion and more than a few questions about the use of incentives in benefits these days.

What do the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act’s (HIPAA) new wellness regulations mean? How can we incentivize employees, without risking noncompliance with new regulations?

The real trick to compliance with HIPAA’s wellness regulations is that wellness programs will have to ensure they do not discriminate against people based on health factors. For example, if an employee is extremely obese and unable to participate in a walking program that provides financial incentives, there must be an alternative program for that employee.

3. Determine if you will use a carrot or stick 
Employers have developed a range of approaches to incentives over the past few years. Most incentives today are based either on participation, outcomes or progress. Participation-based programs are simple.

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Nichole Morford

Nichole Morford
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