Hot Topics: More employers offering incentives to keep workers healthyIt pays to be healthy – especially when it comes to the cost of health insurance.
By: Source: Akron (Ohio) Beacon Journal, INFORUM
It pays to be healthy – especially when it comes to the cost of health insurance.
Employers increasingly are offering financial perks and other incentives that encourage their workers to take more control of their health, according to a recent study from the Society for Human Resource Management.
About 21 percent of employers surveyed by the organization are offering a discount off the employees’ share of insurance premiums to workers who complete a health-risk assessment, compared to 11 percent four years ago.
Smoke-free incentives also are becoming increasingly common, with 20 percent of employers offering discounts off insurance premiums to workers who don’t use tobacco products.
A total of 45 percent of surveyed employers are offering health and lifestyle coaching this year, an increase from 33 percent in 2008. In addition, 35 percent are giving rewards or bonuses for completing a health and wellness program.
“Organizations continue to look for ways to manage costs as the economy slowly improves,” Mark J. Schmit, vice president of research at the Society for Human Resource Management, said in a prepared statement. “Benefits that encourage healthier behavior are a cost-effective way to keep up employee morale, while healthier employees also help decrease health-care costs to employers and employees.”