Non-Discriminatory Work Environment Paper

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�PAGE � �PAGE �3� Non-Discriminatory Work Environment Paper

NON-DISCRIMINATORY WORK ENVIRONMENT PAPER

Non-Discriminatory Work Environment Paper

University of Phoenix

Employment Law MGT/434

Nondiscrimination Requirements

Under HIPAA, individuals may not be denied eligibility or continued eligibility to enroll

in a group health plan based on any health factors they may have. In addition, an

individual may not be charged more for coverage than any similarly situated

individual is being charged based on any health factor. Compliance with HIPAA's

nondiscrimination provisions does not in any way reflect compliance with any other

provision of ERISA (including COBRA andERISA's fiduciary provisions). Nor does it

reflect compliance with other State or Federal laws (such as the Americans with

Disabilities Act).

Nondiscrimination and Wellness Programs

In January 2001, the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and

the Treasury issued proposed regulations on wellness programs under HIPAA.

Under the proposed rules, there are criteria for wellness programs that provide a

reward based on the ability of an individual to meet a standard that is related to a

health factor, such as a reward based on the outcome of a cholesterol test.

"Participatory wellness programs," which provide rewards (such as reimbursement

for local health club membership, waiver of deductible on prenatal care and well

baby visits, free nicotine patches to individuals who want to quit smoking, or free

educational material and 24-hour nurse advice line) regardless of an individual's

ability to meet a standard related to a health factor, are not required to satisfy the

criteria set forth in the proposed rule. Until further guidance is issued, the Federal

Government will not take any enforcement action against a plan or issuer that

complies with a good faith interpretation of the statutory provisions relating to

wellness program provisions. Of course, compliance with the proposed regulations

constitutes good...