DOL Issues Guidance on Wellness Programs

February 25, 2008
A recently issued Department of Labor (“DOL”) Field Assistance Bulletin sets forth a checklist to determine whether nondiscrimination regulations under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”) apply to particular wellness programs. The final nondiscrimination regulations, issued in 2006 by the DOL along with the Departments of Treasury and Health and Human Services, contain an important exception applicable to wellness programs. Consequently, there have been numerous questions concerning what types of arrangements constitute a “wellness program” and how the regulatory exception is to be applied. This article discusses the DOL guidance.