Can We Legally Pay People for Being Good?
A Review of Current Federal and State Law on Wellness Program Incentives
Published in: Inquiry, v. 49, no. 3, Fall 2012, p. 268-277
Incentives to participate in wellness programs or reach health-related targets are becoming popular, but might expose employers and insurers to litigation risk because incentives might violate state and federal insurance, anti-discrimination, or privacy laws. This paper reviews relevant state and federal law, as well as case law and secondary literature. Findings suggest that convergence of state and federal law and recent court decisions have clarified the range of permissible incentives so that litigation risk under bona fide wellness programs seems limited.