Indiana Passes Legislation to Prompt Wellness Programs

May 25, 2007 ( - Lawmakers in Indiana passed legislation this month that will give some employers a tax incentive to provide health and wellness programs to their employees.

According to the legislation , the two credits – the heath benefit plan credit and the small employer qualified wellness program credit – can be applied against adjusted gross income tax, financial institutions tax, or insurance premiums tax.

The health benefit credit offers a credit of up to $2,500 for an employer that makes health insurance available to its employees through a health benefit program – this would only apply after December 31. The $2,500 credit is available for the first two years in which the employer makes the health plan available to employees.

However, the credit has some conditions:

  • an employee’sparticipation in the health plan is at the employee’s election;
  • the employee may pay his or her share of the plan cost using wage assignment;
  • the taxpayer did not provide health insurance to its employees in the taxable year immediately preceding the first taxable year for which the taxpayer claims a credit; and
  • the employer continues to make health insurance available through a benefit plan for at least 24 consecutive months.

The wellness credit for small employers gives a credit equal to 50% of the cost of offering the program.