Incentives for healthy employees
Transforming Health | 05.07.13
Incentives at work are improving the health of employees.
John Hickey, the president of Sutliff Chevrolet in Harrisburg says a new wellness program is already making a difference in the lives of his employees. “Our entire program is about making people more aware and then providing them incentives to improve,” he says.
“We have a discount for the employee contribution portion of the health care insurance premiums and there’s a discount for nonsmokers, there’s a discount for people whose BMI falls below a certain number, and there’s a discount for people who agree to participate in the healthcare assessment, which that latter category is, by far, the vast majority of our employees,” he explains.
Learn more about the wellness program in the video below:
Health care professionals visit the workplace to conduct health screenings for the employees like checking blood pressure and cholesterol levels. And, nurse practitioners or health care professional reach out to them to discuss what things they can do to reduce risks that might crop up based on their personal profile.
Hickey says the company’s also provided a program teaching healthy weight management
“We will pay for that program, but only if you complete it. So, people pay pay for the whole program, and then we reimburse them 2/3 or more of the program back because you want them to have some stake in the game. Those people, a lot of them, have lost weight and kept it off. Seeing them lose weight has caused other people to use their own method of dieting or behavior modification, so we’ve had a number of people just in this building that have lost a significant amount of weight in the last year.”
There are benefits for non-smokers as well. “If you and your spouse are both nonsmokers and you’re both in the BMI, that’s $11 per pay, so $22 per month, and there’s another $20 per pay if you agree to participate in the health risk assessment,” he says.
The Affordable Care Act will allow employers to increase such incentives starting next year.
Hickey says, ”It has to be enough to get people’s attention but it’s not enough that people who couldn’t achieve those or didn’t want to would feel disadvantaged.”