As part of rolling out the Obama administration’s new health care statutes, various federal agencies – including (but not limited to the U.S. Department of Labor and the Department of Health and Human Services – have come together to develop and implement the final rules regarding what is required of workplace health promotion programs.
These regulations are intended to help employers throughout the U.S. minimize the incidence of chronic illness caused by workplace conditions, promote the optimal health of employees and ultimately to dramatically slow the increase of health care costs related to workplace injuries. Additionally, these regulations would set up a series of protections for employees that would prevent employers from discriminating against employees with specific health problems by preventing them from being able to charge employees higher health care costs.
A Look at Some of the New Regulations
Among the elements of the new regulations aimed at promoting workplace wellness programs include:
- Reimbursing employees for their gym membership costs
- Providing incentives or rewards to employees who attend free health-related seminars (which are likely held on a monthly basis)
- Providing incentives or rewards to employees who participate in (but are not required to take follow up action regarding) complimentary health-risk assessments
The ultimate goal is to ensure that workplace wellness and injury prevention programs are focused on promoting healthfulness while preventing employers from being able to shift higher health care on to employees with chronic health issues. While there are a number of other stipulations provided in these final rules regarding workplace health promotion programs, none are expected to take effect until January 1, 2014.
If you have sustained a workplace injury and are considering (or in the process of) filing a workers compensation claim, it’s essential that you contact the Colorado workers compensation lawyers at the Law Office of Michael P. Dominick. Our legal professionals have a proven track record of success when it comes to securing our Clients the maximum possible compensation for their injuries and financial losses. For a thorough evaluation of your case, along with expert advice on the best manner in which to move forward, call us at (303) 447-2644.