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Workplace Wellness Programs Characteristics and Requirements

Issue Brief
  1. Parallel provisions under the Public Health Service Act apply to employer plans not subject to ERISA.

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  2.  Under the rule, “reward” is defined to include the avoidance of a penalty.

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  3.  Kaiser Family Foundation, Health Research and Educational Trust, 2015 Employer Health Benefits Survey.  Available at http://ehbs.kff.org

     

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  4.  71 Federal Register at 75018-75019.

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  5.  The 2015 Kaiser Family Foundation, Health Research and Educational Trust Employer Health Benefits Survey asked additional and new questions about the use of incentives in workplace wellness programs.  As a result, statistics reported in the 2015 survey often are not comparable to previous year’s findings.

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  6. Kaiser Family Foundation, Health Research and Educational Trust, 2015 Employer Health Benefits Survey. Available at http://ehbs.kff.org

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  7. Covered worker refers to employees covered by the group health plan, not necessarily participating in a wellness program.  Covered workers are a subset of the total number of workers in a firm.  Among firms offering health benefits in 2014, 62% of workers were covered by health benefits.

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  8.  S. Mattke et al., A Review of the US Workplace Wellness Market, 2012; S. Mattke et al., Workplace Wellness Programs Study, 2013; S. Mattke et al., Workplace Wellness Programs: Services Offered, Participation, and Incentives, 2014.

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  9. The RAND reports included findings from a national survey of employer-sponsored wellness programs, as well as case studies and data from a smaller sample of programs.  RAND followed a similar methodology to the Kaiser/HRET survey and found a similar incidence of wellness programs. In some cases, findings of the two surveys appear different because the RAND survey did not include firms with fewer than 50 employees, while the KFF/HRET survey included firms with as few as 3 employees.  In addition, the KFF/HRET data for large firms reflect those with 200 or more employees, while RAND large firm data describe those with more than 1,000 employees.

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.