A federal agency on Monday released final rules on how employers can offer workers financial incentives of up to 30 percent of the cost of their cheapest health insurance plans to participate in wellness programs without violating federal laws protecting the confidentiality of medical information.

The move from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission aims to clear up confusion over the way two federal laws protecting employees’ medical privacy apply to the popular programs, which are designed to control medical spending by reducing obesity, smoking and other risk factors.

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