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Court Case Says Companies Allowed to Withdraw Workers' Insurance for Not Taking Part in Wellness Programs

By:
Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Jan 15, 2016
HealthBenefitsA federal court case bolstered already existing precedent that company wellness programs can be made a requirement for insurance coverage, according to Bloomberg. While more companies are adopting wellness programs to cut down on insurance costs, generally they are seen as voluntary measures individual workers can undertake: something nice to do but not really required. You won't be fired for not taking part. However, the recent court decision said you might lose your health coverage, which is exactly what happened to Wisconsin man who decided to opt out. He argued that cutting off health insurance to people who don't take part in a program violates the Americans with Disabilities Act, which limited how much medical information employers are allowed to require from their workers. A judge, however, disagreed, saying that as long as the information gathered from the wellness program is used for the purpose of overall health coverage, such as calculating risk pools, the company can choose to cut off insurance for not participating. The decision joins another from 2012 that also sided with the employer for much of the same reason.