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National Summary

This topic covers workplace wellness programs, which encourage employees to adopt or maintain healthy lifestyles. Wellness programs can be helpful in controlling healthcare costs because healthier employees often make fewer health insurance claims, are more productive, are absent from work less frequently, and make fewer workers’ compensation claims. Elements of wellness programs can include voluntary health screenings, reimbursement for health-related activities such as gym membership, assistance in managing chronic conditions, and more.

There are several federal and state laws that impact the design of a wellness program. For example, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires employers to offer a reasonable accommodation to an employee with a known disability, and it prohibits employers from making medical inquiries or requiring medical examinations (unless job-related and consistent with business necessity). In addition, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) prohibits group health insurance plans from charging similarly situated employees differently based on health factors. There is an exception that addresses wellness plans, but employers designing wellness plans should be careful that they meet HIPAA’s criteria for nondiscrimination.

For related resources and training materials, refer to the following topics:

  • Health—General
  • Smoking for more information on smoking policies and cessation programs
  • ADA for more information on the Americans with Disabilties Act

Related Topics
Applies to News & White Papers
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Training Tips 'Tis the season for a slice of wellness training  National
News 3 steps for developing a stress-reduction program 03/27/2014National
News 5 winning strategies from one of the country's healthiest companies 02/17/2014National
Training Tips 7 holiday eating tips and 1 leftovers recipe  National
Training Tips A harvest of wellness training  National
Training Tips Are Your Employees Up-to-Date with Their Vaccinations?  National
Talks Controlling High Blood Pressure (Word)  National
Talks Coping with Stress (Word)  National
Talks Cutting Down on Cholesterol (Word)  National
Quizzes Dealing with Work Stress (PDF)  National
Handouts Dealing with Work Stress (PDF)  National
Handouts Dealing With Work Stress (PDF) -- Spanish  National
Quizzes Dealing with Work Stress (PDF) -- Spanish  National
Trainer's Outlines Dealing with Work Stress (PDF) [7-Minute Safety Trainer] (short outline)  National
Trainer's Outlines Dealing with Work Stress Safety (Word) [7-Minute Safety Trainer] (short outline)  National
Handouts Dealing with Work Stress Safety Handout (Word)  National
Quizzes Dealing with Work Stress Safety Quiz (Word)  National
Puzzles Dealing with Workplace Stress (PDF)  National
Quizzes Diabetes Prevention (PDF)  National
Handouts Diabetes Prevention (PDF)  National
Quizzes Diabetes Prevention (PDF) -- Spanish  National
Handouts Diabetes Prevention (PDF) -- Spanish  National
Trainer's Outlines Diabetes Prevention (PDF) [7-Minute Safety Trainer] (short outline)  National
Cartoons Diet (JPG)  National
Notices Disease, Disability, and Injury Prevention and Control Special Emphasis Panel: Centers for Excellence to Promote a Healthier Workforce, Request for Application OH-05-006 11/07/2005National
Training Tips Do your finances need a wellness check?  National
Training Tips Does Your Workplace Contribute to Your Employees' Bad Eating Habits?  National
White Papers Employee stress: Understand, identify, and eliminate 04/11/2014National
Talks Everything Doesn't Cause Cancer (Word)  National
Meetings Exercise (Word)  National
Quizzes Exercise (Word)  National
Training Tips Exercise Excuses  National
Talks Exercise for Health (Word)  National
Handouts Financial Wellness (PDF)  National
Training Exercises Financial Wellness (PDF)  National
Training Exercises Financial Wellness (PDF)  National
Speaker's Notes Financial Wellness (PDF)  National
Trainer's Guides Financial Wellness (PDF)  National
PowerPoints Financial Wellness (PPT)  National
Quizzes Financial Wellness (Word)  National
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