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EEOC Rules to Restrict Wellness Incentives Now in Comment Period

A new Equal Employee Opportunity Commission (EEOC) rule would ban anything but de minimis incentives for wellness programs that require disclosure of personal health information. 
 
US EEOCThe EEOC Commission proposes amendments to provisions in two sections of the American Disability Act (ADA) regulations that establish the extent to which employers may offer incentives for employees to participate in wellness programs that obtain medical information.
 
“This rule adopts the view that allowing too high of an incentive would make employees feel coerced to disclose protected medical information to receive a reward or avoid a penalty and, therefore, states that most wellness programs that include disability-related inquiries and/or medical examinations may offer no more than de minimis incentives to encourage employees to participate.” Under the new proposed rule, “health-contingent wellness programs that are part of, or qualify as, group health plans to which the tri-Department wellness regulations apply are an exception to the de minimis standard. Accordingly, this proposed rule permits “health-contingent wellness programs that are part of, or qualify as, group health plans to offer the maximum allowed incentive under the 2013 HIPAA regulations (currently 30% of the total cost of coverage or 50% to the extent the wellness program is designed to prevent or reduce tobacco use), as long as they comply with the five HIPAA requirements for such plans.”
 
According to the EEOC announcement, “We are proposing this change because we believe that the de minimis incentive standard will make it unlikely that an employee will choose to participate in a program that requires providing medical information unless the employee believes the program has some value in promoting health or preventing disease.  Additionally, health-contingent wellness programs that are part of, or that qualify as, group health plans will be permitted to offer limited incentives that are more than de minimis in exchange for an employee’s medical information only if they satisfy the requirements for health-contingent wellness programs, one of which is that programs “must be reasonably designed to promote health or prevent disease.”  Health-contingent programs that fail to satisfy any of the requirements will be able to offer only de minimis incentives.  

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Education, Certifications, and Information to Activate
Brand Media and Enterprise Engagement 


A complete learning, certification, and information program and a course syllabus for educators.
 
Resources: The Brand Media Coalition, the only guide to the story-telling power of brands and where to source them for business, event, promotional gifting, and rewards and recognition. Enterprise Engagement Solution Provider Directory. The only directory of engagement solution providers covering all types of agencies and tactics as well as insights on how to select them.
 
Communities: The  Enterprise Engagement Alliance and Advocate and the  Brand Media Coalition free resource centers offering access to the latest research, news, and case studies; discounts, promotions, referrals, and commissions, when appropriate to third-party solution providers from participating coalition solution provider members.
 
Training and Certification
Enterprise Engagement Alliance Education: Certified Engagement Practitioner; Advanced Engaged Practitioner, and Certified Engagement Solution Provider learning and certification programs on how to implement Stakeholder Capitalism principles at the tactical level. 
 
International Center for Enterprise Engagement: The only training and certification program for ISO 30414 human capital reporting and ISO 10018 quality people management certification. 
 
A CEO's Guide to Engagement Across the Enterprise cover
The EEA offers a complimentary course syllabus for educators.
 
In Print: 
This is the definitive implementation guide to Stakeholder Capitalism, written specifically to provide CEOs and their leadership teams a concise overview of the framework, economics, and implementation process of a CEO-led strategic and systematic approach to achieving success through people.  (123 pages, $15.99)
 
The first and most comprehensive book on Enterprise Engagement and the new ISO 9001 and ISO 10018 quality people management standards. Includes 36 chapters detailing how to better integrate and align engagement efforts across the enterprise. (312 pages, $36.) 
 
Online:  
10-minute short course: click here for a 10-minute introduction to Enterprise Engagement and ISO standards from the Coggno.com learning platform.
 
Services: 
•  The Engagement Agency at EngagementAgency.net, offering: complete support services for employers, solution providers, and technology firms seeking to profit from formal engagement practices for themselves or their clients, including Brand and Capability audits for solution providers to make sure their products and services are up to date.
•  C-Suite Advisory Service—Education of boards, investors, and C-suite executives on the economics, framework, and implementation processes of Enterprise Engagement. 
•  Speakers Bureau—Select the right speaker on any aspect of engagement for your next event.
•  Mergers and Acquisitions. The Engagement Agency’s Mergers and Acquisition group is aware of multiple companies seeking to purchase firms in the engagement field. Contact Michael Mazer in confidence if your company is potentially for sale at 303-320-3777.
 
Enterprise Engagement Benchmark Tools: The Enterprise Engagement Alliance offers three tools to help organizations profit from Engagement. Click here to access the tools.
•  ROI of Engagement Calculator. Use this tool to determine the potential return-on-investment of an engagement strategy. 
•  EE Benchmark Indicator. Confidentially benchmark your organization’s Enterprise Engagement practices against organizations and best practices. 
•  Compare Your Company’s Level of Engagement. Quickly compare your organization’s level of engagement to those of others based on the same criteria as the EEA’s Engaged Company Stock Index.
•  Gauge Your Personal Level of Engagement. This survey, donated by Horsepower, enables individuals to gauge their own personal levels of engagement.
 
For more information, contact Bruce Bolger at Bolger@TheEEA.org, 914-591-7600, ext. 230.
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