There is a ton of misinformation circulating, as you can see from the quotes in this article from NPR and Kaiser Health News.
Just this one sentence is wrong in two ways:
The advice they are receiving from benefit consultants ranges widely, from “drop all incentives and penalties” to “stay the course.”
No, you don’t have to drop all or any incentives and penalties. You can still be protected if you offer a Quizzify-type alternative alongside your wellness program.
And whoever is recommending “stay the course” should lose their license to read. There is no scenario in which any in-house corporate counsel of any company offering $500 or more in incentives or penalties could know about this rule change and recommend doing nothing.
The article also notes:
Some employers say they will stick with their existing programs — even if they hit the 30 percent level — because the EEOC is unlikely to challenge companies that stick with the rescinded percentage while they await the new rules.
But here’s the thing. Nobody ever said they were going to “challenge” companies that max the penalties/incentives. They have bigger fish to fry and these days are much more employer-friendly than they once were. (They are also woefully understaffed at the top.) But employees can sue. That’s the issue. The EEOC challenge thing is a total red herring.
Fortunately, there is an elegant solution which will allow you to turn this lemon into lemonade, offered Tuesday 12-11 at noon EST. You can sign up right here. Make sure you have your credit card handy because the free webinars are done. It’s $25 (such a deal) unless you are a member of the Pittsburgh Business Group on Health.