Date of Award

Fall 5-17-2013

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)

Department

Public Health

First Advisor

Bruce Perry

Second Advisor

Rodney Lyn

Abstract

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA), signed into law on March 23, 2010, brought sweeping reforms to the United States health care delivery system. Among its many changes, the legislation provides an unprecedented emphasis on preventive care and wellness initiatives. One of these initiatives permits employers to offer worksite wellness programs to their employees and dependents, using incentives of up to 30 percent – and in some cases as high as 50 percent – of the cost of their health insurance benefits to induce participants to reach certain health outcomes or biometric standards. The proposed regulations allowing these program incentives impose relatively minimal design requirements on employers. This paper evaluates the extent to which federal employment discrimination laws, including the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, may impose additional design constraints in developing workplace wellness programs that use such incentives.

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