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WALHDAB Policy Brief: WI Workplace Wellness Grant Program

Tuesday, June 23, 2015  
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Last year, WALHDAB and WPHA were successful in passing the Healthy Jobs Act. The legislation created a workplace wellness grant program, which was specifically designed to encourage small employers to invest in employee wellness initiatives.

Under the new law, businesses with 50 or fewer employees that implement a wellness program are eligible for a grant equal to 30% of the cost of implementing the program. The grant program is administered by the state Department of Health Services (DHS) and will provide $3 million per year for five years for eligible small businesses.

Over the course of the past year, DHS has been drafting administrative rules to implement the new grant program. The department is expected to finalize and implement the rules by the end of summer 2015. As a result, Wisconsin small businesses will soon be able to apply for and utilize the workplace wellness grant funding.

While the grant funding will soon be available, educating local businesses about the program and the opportunities it provides is a challenge in itself. That's where Local Health Departments can play an important role. It presents a fantastic opportunity for LHDs to connect with the business community and promote the grant program at the local level. In fact, LHDs may even want to consider providing workplace wellness services to small businesses applying for the grant, which could provide new revenue for LHDs across the state.

For more information on the grant program, please visit the WI Department of Health Services website. In addition, please find attached a copy of the new law (2013 Act 137) and a brief memo outlining the provisions of the law.

 

The WALHDAB office will provide you with an update once the rules are officially implemented. If you have any question in the meantime, please to not hesitate to contact the WALHDAB government affairs consultant, Michael Welsh, at 608-310-8833 or mike@hovenconsulting.com.



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