Healthcare Leaders Urge Senate Committee to Protect Affordable Care Act Workplace Wellness Programs
In Statement to Senate HELP Committee, HLC President Grealy Said EEOC Lawsuits Have Created Uncertainty in Employer Community, Urged Congress to Press for Clarity
WASHINGTON – The Healthcare Leadership Council (HLC), a coalition of chief executives from companies and organizations representing all health sectors, today urged the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee to protect workplace wellness provisions of the Affordable Care Act, which have recently come under assault in the form of lawsuits brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
In her letter to committee members, HLC President Mary R. Grealy wrote that “well-designed, evidence-based workplace wellness programs have produced significant cost savings and positive return on investment of approximately three dollars for every dollar invested.” She expressed strong support for the Affordable Care Act provisions that allow health insurance premium incentives connected to wellness programs.The letter was submitted in conjunction with a Senate HELP hearing today on employer wellness programs.
Last year, the EEOC filed lawsuits challenging the legality of employer wellness programs operated by Honeywell and other U.S. companies. In her letter to the Senate committee, Ms. Grealy said these suits “have produced a chilling effect on employer wellness programs, since employers lack certainty about the status of wellness programs.” She wrote that the committee should urge EEOC to “provide clarity as well as ensure the continuation of evidence-based wellness programs consistent with ACA provisions.”
Ms. Grealy pointed out to the committee that a number of HLC member companies have successfully implemented wellness programs for employees and patient communities that have generated positive health outcomes while reducing healthcare costs. Information on those examples can be found in The Future Is Here compendium (www.hlc.org/thefutureishere).