While the Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia decides whether to vacate the current Wellness Rule, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) says it won’t be able to issue a revised rule until October 2019, effective in 2021.
In August, the court ordered the EEOC to revisit and redo the current Wellness Rule because, in a lawsuit brought by the AARP, the court found the rule to discriminate against those employees who choose not to participate in their company’s wellness program. The rule allows companies to provide a 30 percent premium incentive for participants (reduce their health insurance premiums by up to 30 percent).
During the current court proceedings, the AARP has asked that the rule be permanently enjoined. A decision is still pending. Meanwhile, if the court does not vacate the Wellness Rule, it will remain in effect for next year and until 2021, presumably. Lawyers for the EEOC argued that vacating the rule would create “chaos” for employers in their 2018 benefits planning.