Let the EEOC know how you feel about the latest GINA proposed rule

Agency extends comment period to January 28, 2016

Posted December 9, 2015

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is extending the comment period to January 28, 2016, for the proposed rule ‘‘Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008’’ (GINA), which was published on October 30, 2015. The extension is in response to a stakeholder request for an extension.

The proposed regulations address the extent to which an employer may offer an employee inducements (incentives) for the employee’s spouse who is also a participant in the employer’s health plan to provide information about the spouse’s current or past health status as part of a health risk assessment administered in connection with the employer’s offer of health services as part of an employer-sponsored wellness program.

EEOC's proposed rule addresses the extent to which an employer may offer incentives for an employee's spouse to provide information about his or her current or past health status as part of an employer-sponsored wellness program, when he or she participates in the employer's health plan.

The proposed rule clarifies that an employer may offer, as a part of its health plan, a limited incentive to an employee whose spouse is covered under the employee's health plan; receives health or genetic services offered by the employer, including as part of a wellness program; and provides information about his or her current or past health status. The limited incentive may take the form of a reward or penalty and may be financial or in-kind (e.g., time-off awards, prizes, or other items of value).

The total incentive for an employee and spouse to participate in a wellness program that is part of a group health plan and collects information about current or past health status may not exceed 30 percent of the total cost of the plan in which the employee and any dependents are enrolled. The proposed rule also says that the maximum portion of an incentive that may be offered to an employee alone may not exceed 30 percent of the total cost of self-only coverage. This limitation includes any other incentives permitted under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Plan sponsors will have to consider how these caps will coordinate with the incentive caps imposed under the Affordable Care Act.

Submitting comments

Comments regarding this proposal must be received by the EEOC on or before January 28, 2016. The comment period was originally scheduled to end on December 29, 2015.

You may submit comments, identified by RIN number 3046–AB02, by any of the following methods:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: http:// www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
  • FAX: (202) 663–4114. (There is no toll free FAX number). Only comments of six or fewer pages will be accepted via FAX transmittal, in order to assure access to the equipment. Receipt of FAX transmittals will not be acknowledged, except that the sender may request confirmation of receipt by calling the Executive Secretariat staff at (202) 663– 4070 (voice) or (202) 663–4074 (TTY). (These are not toll free numbers).
  • Mail: Bernadette Wilson, Acting Executive Officer, Executive Secretariat, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 131 M Street NE., Washington, DC 20507.
  • Hand Delivery/Courier: Bernadette Wilson, Acting Executive Officer, Executive Secretariat, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 131 M Street NE., Washington, DC 20507.

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