BILL REQ. #:  H-1252.1 


State of Washington63rd Legislature2013 Regular Session

By Representatives Schmick, Cody, Hope, Morrell, Angel, Ryu, and Pollet

Read first time 02/08/13.   Referred to Committee on Health Care & Wellness.

     AN ACT Relating to wellness programs offered by a health carrier; adding a new section to chapter 48.43 RCW; adding a new section to chapter 48.30 RCW; and creating a new section.


NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1   The legislature finds that the rise of chronic disease and poor health habits are contributing to rising healthcare costs. Wellness programs that encourage healthier living or help individuals to maintain and improve their health can reduce healthcare costs and improve overall health. Studies also show that financial incentives encourage greater participation in wellness programs.

NEW SECTION.  Sec. 2   A new section is added to chapter 48.43 RCW to read as follows:
     (1) A carrier may offer or sponsor a wellness program that is not part of the health benefit plan or health benefit contract to a person or employer, and a carrier may include incentives as part of the wellness program. Examples of incentives include gift cards for goods or services, or health-related goods or services.
     (2) In order to offer a wellness program, the following must be met:
     (a) The program must be available to individuals under similar qualifying circumstances;
     (b) A detailed description of the program and incentive must be provided to individuals prior to participation and upon request; and
     (c) The health carrier must provide information to individuals that the wellness program does not constitute a health benefit plan.
     (3) Any wellness program and incentives offered under this section must be available for review upon request by the insurance commissioner.
     (4) For purposes of this section, a "wellness program" is a program of health promotion or disease prevention designed to promote healthy behaviors or lifestyles and improve an individual's overall well-being or awareness. A wellness program may include, but is not limited to: A biometric screening or an online health assessment; a program designed to encourage healthy lifestyles, physical activity, or healthy eating; a coaching program; a smoking cessation program; a program designed to reduce alcohol misuse; a weight reduction or management program; and nutrition education.

NEW SECTION.  Sec. 3   A new section is added to chapter 48.30 RCW to read as follows:
     RCW 48.30.140 and 48.30.150 do not apply to section 2 of this act.

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