shutterstock_287569931-700x467Employee wellness programs are all the rage these days.  If your company doesn’t already have one, chances are it will soon.

With the implementation of a workplace wellness initiative, employees are often asked to provide personal data and metrics through a variety of channels: online surveys, wellness checkups, wearable devices, and more.  This information is sometimes provided, not only to the employer and their insurance carrier, but also to third party wellness vendors.

With such personal information being collected, there are many questions that are on employees minds.  If your organization hasn’t already answered these, it’s a conversation you’ll probably want to have to ease your workers’ minds.

Here are a few of the most common questions according to a recent article by Kaiser Health News.

Q:  What personal information will my employer see?

A:  While employers generally only receive data for the entire workforce as a whole that details info such as how many employees have high blood pressure or other concerns.  However, they may sometimes receive individual results as well.  While this data would be anonymous, it may be possible in a smaller company to identify certain individuals based on that information.

Q: Is my employee wellness program covered by HIPAA?

A:  Because wellness programs are separate from an employer’s group health insurance plan, they aren’t protected by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).  Other privacy laws may apply, but a few designated members of management may be able to see your information, which they’re required to keep confidential.

Q:  Who else can see my personal wellness data?

A:  If your company uses a wellness provider, they may work with laboratories, fitness tracker manufacturers, app developers, and other companies.  If you’re curious about who’s seeing your info, you can always ask.

You can read more questions and answers by clicking here.