The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's proposed amendments to the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act that define how wellness plan managers can gather family medical information should give employers the confidence and clarity they need to move forward with plan designs.

That's the view of Debbie Harrison, assistant director, public policy, for the National Business Group on Health. The nonprofit represents large employers at the national level on corporate health insurance related matters, and has been carefully following the EEOC's evolving policy on incentives, and disincentives, included in wellness plans that are used to gather medical data.

The new amendments to GINA focus largely on collecting spousal information. Harrison said the amendments give employers long-awaited and clear guidance on how they can request such data.

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Dan Cook

Dan Cook is a journalist and communications consultant based in Portland, OR. During his journalism career he has been a reporter and editor for a variety of media companies, including American Lawyer Media, BusinessWeek, Newhouse Newspapers, Knight-Ridder, Time Inc., and Reuters. He specializes in health care and insurance related coverage for BenefitsPRO.