The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) published a proposed rule amending parts of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA). The proposal addresses how an employer may offer inducements for a worker’s covered spouse to provide information about current or past health status as part of a health risk assessment for the employer’s wellness program.
Ashley Gillihan, counsel in Alston & Bird’s Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Group, said the proposed rule is “fairly significant because it confirms that incentives can be provided in a form that benefits the employee – such as a premium reduction – in exchange for an enrolled spouse’s medical history information, something we weren’t sure was permissible under GINA prior to this guidance.”
“That is the good news,” Gillihan said. “There is some bad news, though. You would not be able to get the spouse’s medical history from the employee, which many programs do. You have to get it straight from the spouse.”