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New Wisconsin Workplace Wellness Grant Program

BY Diane Bauer, CPA
06/25/2014 - 10:02am
 
You may have heard that earlier this year, Governor Walker signed what is referred to as “The Healthy Jobs Act.”  This Act establishes a grant program for small businesses that sponsor workplace wellness programs for their employees.
 
The Act will reimburse employers with 50 or fewer full-time workers for up to 30 percent of their workplace wellness expenses through a grant program that will be administered by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. The reimbursement will pay for up to 30 percent of the costs for one year and each workplace can only apply once.
 
The program must be implemented on or after the effective date of the Act and must include health risk assessments and one or more of the following programs or services:
 

1. Chronic disease prevention
2. Weight management
3. Stress management
4. Worker injury prevention programs
5. Health screenings
6. Nutrition education
7. Health or fitness incentive programs
8. Vaccinations
9. Employee physical examinations
 
This was originally proposed as an income tax credit but was changed to a direct reimbursement before it was finalized. Companies will need to apply for the grant through the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.  While the legislation was enacted in March 2014, at this time, the Department is working on outlining the rules and the application process. It is expected to be complete before the end of next fiscal year, which is June, 2015.  As information becomes available, the website will be updated.  
 
If you are a Wisconsin business with 50 or fewer employees, please keep this grant in mind.  It would be a great way to help your employees be well and receive reimbursement for some of the cost to implement a wellness program. Please watch The Wisconsin Department of Health Service’s website at http://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/physical-activity/Worksite/index.htm for updated information on this grant and for other wellness information and resources. 
 
If you have any questions, give us a call.