The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is considering public comments to a proposed rule under the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act that would authorize employers with wellness programs as part of their group health plans to offer limited financial or other incentives in exchange for an employee’s spouse providing information about his or her health status information. Under the proposal, total incentives provided to employees and their spouses may not exceed 30 percent of the total cost of the health plan in which they are enrolled.

The proposed rule stipulates that an employer must receive prior, knowing, voluntary and written authorization from the individual from whom genetic information is being obtained. Additionally, any services an employer offers under its wellness program must be “reasonably designed” to promote health or prevent disease.

More information on how the proposal will affect businesses is available at