As discussed in a prior alert, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently issued final rules providing guidance on the application of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA) to employer-sponsored wellness programs.
One of the more onerous requirements imposed by the final ADA rule is that, beginning with the first plan year starting on or after January 1, 2017, all employer-sponsored health plans that collect employee health information must give a notice to employees regarding the program. The notice must (A) be written in a manner reasonably likely to be understood by the employee, (B) describe the type of medical information that will be obtained and the specific purposes for which the information will be used; and (C) describe restrictions on the disclosure of the employee’s medical information, who the information will be shared with, and the methods that the employer will use to ensure that the medical information is not improperly disclosed.
The EEOC has now published a sample notice that can be used by employers to aid in compliance with the new requirement. There is no specific timeframe during which the notices must be provided, but the employees must receive them before participating in any health risk assessment or medical examination and have enough time to consider the notice before participating.