New Rules on Workplace Wellness Programs Make Employees Pay for Privacy

You might soon be paying more for your insurance than some of your coworkers if you are unwilling to share your medical information with your employer, according to rules released May 16 by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The new rules allow employers to charge employees a penalty equal to 30 percent of the total employer-employee cost of employee-only health insurance unless they divulge their health data to their employer’s workplace wellness program. Spouses can also be charged another …

AARP Opposes Employer Invasion of Medical Privacy

UPDATE (5/16/2016): AARP is deeply disappointed with the new EEOC rules on workplace wellness programs. Read our press release. ***** With election season in full force, much of the work inside Washington is flying under the radar. While Congress remains deeply divided, there continues to be action on the regulatory front. One such development should be a real attention grabber: a proposed Obama administration rule that would allow an employer’s workplace wellness program to require you and your family to …

Facing Facts About Hearing Loss

May was Better Hearing Month, and I did a lot of radio interviews, some on behalf of AARP, others for my new book, Living Better With Hearing Loss: A Guide to Health, Happiness, Love, Sex, Work, Friends … and Hearing Aids. As I heard myself repeating the statistics in one interview after another, I was unhappily reminded of the magnitude of the numbers of people with hearing loss, and the blithe dismissal with which it is generally treated. The prime example …

Supreme Court Upholds Texas Voter ID Law

In a 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court has permitted Texas to enforce its controversial voter ID law in the Nov. 4 election. The court, in an unsigned order issued Oct. 18, left in place the Oct. 14 decision of a federal appeals court to delay the implementation of U.S. District Court judge’s reversal of the state’s 2011 law. The judge had cited possible discrimination against older voters. Early voting in Texas began Oct. 20. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, joined by …

Regulator Seeks Greater Oversight of Auto Financing

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau wants to extend its oversight to large nonbank auto-finance companies to make sure they are not discriminating against consumers. The CFPB announced today its proposed rule to expand its supervision to these companies, which would include the finance arms of auto manufacturers. “Nonbank auto-finance companies extend hundreds of billions of dollars in credit to American consumers, yet they have never been supervised at the federal level,” CFPB Director Richard Cordray said in a statement. “Today’s proposal …

Federal Judge Strikes Down Wisconsin Voter ID Law

A federal judge in Milwaukee has struck down Wisconsin’s voter ID law, holding that it unconstitutionally discriminates against low-income and minority voters, who are less likely to have photo IDs or the documents needed to obtain them. U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman’s decision comes less than a week after a state judge declared a new Arkansas law requiring voters to show government- or college-issued photo IDs for their ballots to count to be “void and unenforceable.” (Days later, the Arkansas …