In January we asked if a financial incentive would motivate you to get in shape and stay that way. In an effort to lower health care costs, employers are offering Wellness Programs designed to help employees cultivate healthy habits. The hope is to eventually be able to charge fit employees less for health insurance.
As Wellness Programs become more popular, the big question now is, how do we measure fitness? CQ reports, “States and the federal government should pass laws giving consumers more legal protections when it comes to popular ‘workplace wellness’ programs that make health insurance more costly for employees who are deemed unhealthy, says a new report by the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute.” Study authors contend that “added consumer protections are especially important because there is not enough evidence to show that workers will take action to improve their health if faced with financial penalties.” They also said, “States might want to promote the use of evidence in workplace wellness programs by requiring that programs report on the amount, timing and duration of any incentives.
Wellness programs are slowly making their way into the mainstream, a move that is reshaping the healthy incentives movement. From individual health and financial benefits, to a broader potential impact on the workforce as a whole. How do you think a Wellness Program would affect you in your current work environment? Share your thoughts on this blog or on our Facebook page.