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Employment Law/Wellness Rewards

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Question
Hi! This is in reference to having a Wellness Rewards as part of my husband's insurance at work. They make you do physicals, screenings, 1/2 hour sessions with an RN etc. If not, it is $1300 extra per year. Of course $2600 if employee and spouse doesn't participate. I have brain cancer and also seizures. I'm going through so much. Just had MRI # 64. There is no way that I can even qualify as a healthy person to keep up with this and that. I have so many issues. At one point, I was made to go to a screening, and while there I had a seizure. So I have been waived for about 2 years now. Now the Nurse is calling to say that I'm due for their physical and her 1/2 hour session. This was to be done by May 31st. Since then, I have been in the hospital, with seizures, due for more treatment, etc. I have to add that she mentioned I might have to chose to do the $1300 if I can't participate. Ok, this is why my question comes in. I'm ready to fight at this one. I should be waived indefinitely on this. I have something with no cure and even on Social Security. There are HiPAA rules that might fall in there somewhere I would think. I would participate if I could, but I can't and why should I have to pay the $1300?. I'm not about to do it. Thanks for your help and any info on this would be greatly appreciated.

Answer
There is nothing in employment law that covers your situation, as 1) you are not an employee, and 2) benefits are not mandatory, so the employer pretty much sets all of the terms.  However, if your treating physician will write a letter saying the requirement should be waived due to your medical condition, I doubt you will be required to attend the screening.  You need a medical reason for a waiver, so that the employer sees a risk to itself if it persists in its demand.  Ask your doctor - I doubt you'll have a problem getting the letter. Have it sent to the HR Department of your husband's employer by certified mail, return receipt requested.  Write back if this doesn't work.

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Margaret M. deMarteleire

Expertise

I can answer most questions about employment law, federal or state. I am an attorney, not an HR professional, so questions about HR careers, coursework, prospects, etc. are not within my scope.

Experience

Attorney for 20 years, currently working exclusively with employment law - FLSA, FMLA, federal contracts, pay, etc.

Education/Credentials
Temple University School of Liberal Arts, BA, Rhetoric & Communication, 1982 Temple University School of Law, JD, 1990 Certificate in HR, Cornell University ILR School, 2006

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