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Health and Wellness Incentive Programs in the News

Posted January 1, 2013 by deb in Industry News & Trends

September 2014

Is The EEOC Off The Rails With This New “Wellness” Lawsuit? Don’t Think So. 
JD Supra (press release)
The lawsuit contends that the program’s health risk assessment is an unlawful “medical examination” and that the company retaliated against Ms…Link to complete article (opens in new window)

August 2014

4 signs wellness programs are here to stay
FierceHealthPayer
Wellness programs aren’t just a fad that employers and insurers are … The most popular incentives were contributing money to employees’ health …Link to complete article (opens in new window)

Reach and influence: Why corporate wellness programs really do work
MedCity News
Workplace wellness programs are our biggest hope for fixing our nationalhealthcare crisis because they have a unique power to shift employee …Link to complete article (opens in new window)

Don’t Get Busted with ‘Guilty’ Incentive Based Wellness Programs 
Truckinginfo
Employers who leverage wellness programs want to make their staff healthier to save on health care costs, and top talent pays attention to benefits …Link to complete article (opens in new window)

Wellness plan saving county money 
Kenosha News
A wellness plan for employees is saving Kenosha County close to … tied to improving their health, but also educational programs, such as for healthy … “There seems to be evidence to support the wellness program is having its …Link to complete article (opens in new window)

Successful wellness plans focus on motivators, secure leadership support 
MiBiz
Yes, offering gift cards or discounts on health coverage serves as a good first … or improved their health through involvement in the wellness program…Link to complete article (opens in new window)

Study critical of wellness ROI results
BenefitsPro
The five-author study, published in the American Journal of Health … design are important determinants” of the estimated ROI of wellness programs…Link to complete article (opens in new window)

June 2014

Are You Getting the Most From Your Employee Wellness Program?
Daily American Online
Whether your company has an employee wellness program or has only done a “Biggest Loser” challenge, health in the workplace is a big topic…Link to complete article  (opens in new window)

Health programs may lower costs, benefit workers

Wellness programs took hold as a way to help control the cost of health benefits — particularly given the connection between sedentary lifestyles and …Link to complete article (opens in new window)
The Secret Wellness Motivator: Friends & Family

Most traditional wellness programs dangle carrots, but can’t really move the … We’ve uncovered the secret motivator that leads to sustained healthy …Link to complete article (opens in new window)
“As CFOs and HR leadership take a closer look at wellness program results, outcomes-based approaches that tie dollars to employee health …Link to complete article (opens in new window)
An inside look at wellness program strategies

With the impact of health care reform still evolving, employers are taking a fresh look at their strategies for keeping employees healthy and productive…Link to complete article (opens in new window)

April 2014

Six simple steps to a thriving workforce
iMedia Connection (blog)
Employer-provided wellness programs often fail because they do not … Here are six simple steps to increase the health and wellness of your staff and …Link to complete blog (opens in new window)

Employers Challenged by Employee Engagement, Outcomes-based Health Incentives, and Price …
DigitalJournal.com
More than half mentioned the challenge of creating outcomes-based wellness incentives, meaning they would like to reward measurable health …Link to Press Release (opens in new window)

Well, Well, Wellness: An Introduction to Incentivized Healthcare Programs
1to1 Media
With healthcare reform now in place, companies have begun to offer wellness programs to not only promote healthy living, but also maximize …Link to complete article (opens in new window)

Organizations Identify Employees’ Health Habits as Top Cost Challenge: Willis Survey
Wall Street Journal
Organizations Identify Employees’ Health Habits as Top Cost Challenge: … Notably, 78% of employers with wellness programs said that they were …Link to complete article (opens in new window)

Easy, low-cost wellness ideas
BenefitsPro
Wellness programs can help businesses reduce health care costs and improve their bottom line, but you don’t need a Fortune 500 budget to take a …Link to complete article (opens in new window)

March 2014

Survey: Companies Are Spending More on Employee Wellness
Business Administration Information
Corporate Wellness Programs Keeping employees healthy can have a positive impact on culture and lead to cost savings, according to a new study …Link to complete article (opens in new window)

Pros and Cons of Using Fitness Trackers for Employee Wellness 
CIO
Employee wellness programs are the norm today. … With the increased awareness of health risks, the low costs of many wearable trackers, the desire ..Link to complete article (opens in new window)

What Great Corporate Wellness Programs Do 
blogs.hbr.org (blog)
Johnson & Johnson, which has one of the longest-standing wellness programs in the country, understands that people don’t strive to get healthy …Link to complete article (opens in new window)

CVS Sued Over Controversial Wellness Program 
Huffington Post
CVS’ so-called “wellness review,” first reported last year, is a fairly extreme example of a trend of companies looking to cut health-care costs by …Link to complete article (opens in new window)

Tips for using wellness champions to motivate employees 
Employee Benefit News
Experts recommend having wellness champions share healthy messages during … They also can add a level of trust for an initiative and incentive…Link to complete article (opens in new window)

Wellness programs: well-intentioned or intrusive? 
Cornell Chronicle
Regulations on incentives, not yet tested in the courts, went into effect in … gift cards, reduced health insurance premiums or fitness center discounts…Link to complete article (opens in new window)

February 2014

What’s next for workplace wellness?
Newsworks.org
Workplace wellness programs have sprouted up with a vengeance in the last …”Given where health-care costs have really risen to it’s, ‘I need to get …Link to complete article (opens in new window)

Employers offer incentives to encourage a healthy workplace 
Gainesville Times
In a growing effort to combat obesity, Type 2 diabetes and other “lifestyle diseases,” more workplaces are offering wellness programs to promote …Link to complete article (opens in new window)

Employers take it to the next level 
BizTimes.com (Milwaukee)
Bennett said the wellness programs of today are getting more sophisticated and continuously evolving to meet the latest health care challenges…Link to complete article (opens in new window)

Healthy employees = healthy bottom lines 
Marietta Daily Journal
Wellness programs not only improve an individual’s short-term and … Smoking cessation, exercise and healthy eating are the best areas to start your …Link to complete article (opens in new window)

Wellness programs yield mixed results in New York 
Crain’s New York Business
But research remains mixed on whether wellness programs deliver. … ”With respect to improving health, these programs are not a bad thing, but the …Link to complete article (opens in new window)

Focus on medical cost savings underestimates wellness benefits 
Employee Benefit News
When gauging whether employers need health management programs in their wellness offerings, new research from OptumHealth Consultant …Link to complete article (opens in new window)

January 2014

Do wellness programs really save companies money? 
Fortune - Since about 60% of U.S. companies now offer some kind of wellness … the tune of $3 in healthcare cost savings, and another $3 in reduced expenses Link to complete article (opens in new window)

The Bottom Line of Wellness at Work 
Montpelier Bridge
A healthy employee makes a healthy business. Businesses save about two dollars for every one dollar invested in wellness programs, says the …Link to complete article (opens in new window)

The Impact of Wellness Programs on Health Care Costs
Live Insurance News
But will these incentives actually work? Will wellness programs positively impact overall healthcare costs? Or will the costs of healthcare be shifted Link to complete article (opens in new window)

How Well Do Workplace Wellness Programs Work?
Diabetes In Control
Wellness programs in the workplace help cut health care costs and reduce hospital admissions for employees with chronic illnesses, a new study … Link to complete article (opens in new window)

 

December 2013

Despite push, US employers wary of health incentives
Boston Globe
The three-year RAND study found that fewer than 10 percent of companies with employee wellness programs use results-based financial incentives…Link to complete article (opens in new window)

Small businesses offer creative wellness programs
USA TODAY
“Health care costs have become such a large part of the expense pie for companies that offering cost-effective wellness programs to employees make a lot of …Link to complete article (opens in new window)

Why a Workplace Wellness Plan can Increase Productivity
PRWire (press release)
According to Integral Development, health and wellness are important to high … Workplaces that offer wellness programs to their employees tend to be …Link to complete article (opens in new window)

Column: Resolving to have a healthier workforce
Herald Times Reporter
With the advent of healthcare reform, wellness programs won a huge victory. For example, Medicare will pay for an annual wellness checkup and the …Link to complete article (opens in new window)

Healthier Wellness Communications
Human Resource Executive Online
 their employers’ wellness programs and other benefits, a new survey shows. … should about benefits packages, healthcare reform and wellness programs, …Link to complete article (opens in new window)

Wellness Programs and Overstepping Your Boundaries in the …
Business 2 Community
Wellness programs are becoming more and more common as companies strive … that wellness programs that tie financial rewards to specific health measures …Link to complete article (opens in new window)

Wellness Coaching Is Often Missing Component in Wellness …
SBWire (press release)
Wellness coaching is similar to personal training in that the person provides guidance … to work on both internal and external health goals in the same program. Link to complete article (opens in new window)

On the Job: Bosses want your friends to keep you healthy
USA TODAY
COLUMN: Do corporate wellness programs work? … to take better care of themselves but find it difficult to start living healthier or maintaining healthy habits. Link to complete article (opens in new window)

November 2013

Small Business Wellness Programs and Return On Investment (ROI)
Small Business Trends
It’s relatively agreed upon that reducing health costs is the top reason for small business wellness programs. I recently wrote about implementing wellness …Link to complete article (opens in new window)

Best and Brightest in Wellness™ in the Country Named for 2013
DigitalJournal.com
Health and wellness programs are key to retaining a healthy workforce and managing health care costs. We are proud to recognize those companies that have …Link to complete article (opens in new window)

Are corporate wellness programs driving down costs when it comes 
HR.BLR.com
Are the employer-sponsored wellness programs sprouting up in corporate America to get employees healthier and drive down the cost of health benefits …Link to complete article (opens in new window)

US companies plan to punish smokers and overweight workers
The Age
A report released in May by the RAND Corp found workers who participated in a wellness program had healthcare costs averaging $US2.38 ($2.55) less per …Link to complete article (opens in new window)

SMHC’s wellness program helping clients
Seacoastonline.com
PORTSMOUTH — A health and wellness program at Seacoast Mental Health Center has generated positive results after one year of implementation…Link to complete article (opens in new window)

October 2013

Best practice: Temple University’s wellness incentive encourages 
HR.BLR.com
Temple’s comprehensive, voluntary wellness program provides incentives for those who take steps to maintain and improve their overall health. The program …Link to complete article (opens in new window)

healthy place
Goshen News
“It’s a win/win situation — obviously health care costs are astronomical,” Nichols said, adding the wellness program allows the company to contain some of that …Link to complete article (opens in new window)

More workplaces providing ways for employees to lose pounds, cut …
MedCity News
Dawn Hunt, Oakland County’s wellness coordinator, is pretty certain she knows the answer. Since the county began to phase in its healthy living program in …Link to complete article (opens in new window)

Employees who participate in wellness program to be rewarded
Penn State News
Employees who participate in wellness program to be rewarded. Benefits-enrolled employees who participate in the Take Care of Your Health Initiative will …Link to complete article (opens in new window)

Brownback: Incentives, community events key to health
Topeka Capital Journal
As an example of incentive-based health efforts, Brownback cited his Governor’s … of Wichita, HaysMed and the Garden City Schools Wellness Team USD 457…Link to complete article (opens in new window)

September 2013

13M wearables to be used in corporate wellness plans by 2018
mobihealthnews
Over the next five years, 13 million wearable devices embedded with wireless connectivity will be integrated into wellness plans offered by businesses, …Link to complete article (opens in new window)

How to Encourage Employee Wellness Without Being a Jerk
Entrepreneur
When weighing wellness programs at your company, it often comes down to a … refused to answer a questionnaire administered by WebMD HealthServices…Link to complete article (opens in new window)

As Companies Get Wiser on Wellness Programs, Workers Get …
Workforce Management
For years, FirstEnergy didn’t have much of a wellness program. One minor incentive they had was more punitive: a surcharge for tobacco users in their health …Link to complete article (opens in new window)

Wellness program at RDU helping to trim waistlines and health care …
News & Observer
RDU Airport firefighter Dustin King exercises on equipment set up in the airport fire station as part of a campaign to get employees healthier in order to keep …Link to complete article (opens in new window)

Building a Successful Wellness Program Takes Guts, Grit and 
EHS Today
Getting a company wellness program off the ground is no easy task. In the face of skeptical senior executives and ever-tightening budgets, wellness-program …Link to complete article (opens in new window)

New Rules Governing Wellness Plans
Mondaq News Alerts (registration)
Employers can incentivize good health by offering rewards related to employee group health coverage provided that the reward is part of a wellness program …Link to complete article (opens in new window)

Companies find payoffs in wellness programs
Mainebiz Daily
So improving its employees’ health has a direct impact on the bottom line. With that in mind, Jackson Lab instituted a wide-ranging wellness program in 2006 …Link to complete article (opens in new window)

When Your Health Plan Says ‘Shape Up or Pay Up’
Fox Business
But Noyce says health incentives are here to stay. For employers, their wellness program does more than just address cost; it’s really about improving …Link to complete article (opens in new window)

Workplace stretching programs expand
Minneapolis Star Tribune
While most of the mall’s employees don’t spend their time operating heavy machinery, they’ve adopted several health and wellness programs to increase range …Link to complete press release (opens in new window)

The State of Workplace Wellness & Benefits Automation: Room to …
MarketWatch (press release)
Employers are increasingly investing in wellness incentives. … Most large employers (64 percent, up from 59 percent in 2012) use health insurance premium …Link to complete press release (opens in new window)

The mentally well workforce: Healthy equals wealthy and wise
HR.BLR.com
Remember founding father Ben Franklin’s advice that ends in, “Healthy, wealthy and … The thinking is that by reinvesting in wellness programs that would put …Link to complete article (opens in new window)

The long road to a healthier workforce
Hindu Business Line
Health is wealth: Employees who monitor their progress and move towards certain goals, such as weight loss, tend to benefit more from wellness-programs …Link to complete article (opens in new window)

August 2013

Employers weigh paying workers for good health
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Incentives based on personal health are the latest twist in workplace wellness programs that emerged a decade ago to rein in the skyrocketing cost of health …Link to complete article (opens in new window)

We Need To Know More About Wellness Incentives
Health Affairs (blog)
Recently, the federal government published Final Rules on wellness incentives. What’s in it for you? From next year, your employer may increase your insurance …Link to complete article (opens in new window)

Wellness initiative participation growing
Penn State News 
A Highmark study published in the American Journal of Health Promotion demonstrated its wellness programs reduce the rate of health care costs. In addition, a …Link to complete article (opens in new window)

Wellness program boosts Memphis retailer
Memphis Business Journal
With health care reform at the top of many executives’ minds, companies have an opportunity to offer an incentive or penalty with wellness programs or activities, …Link to complete article (opens in new window)

Improving driver health one click at a time
Fleet Owner
The research, Worksite Health & Wellness Case Study, seeks to draw conclusions about health and wellness programs. The effort will focus on Schneider …Link to complete article (opens in new window)

The Search is on for America’s 10 Best Companies
GlobeNewswire (press release)
Winning companies receive national recognition and the ability to use this honor … in creating a workplace culture that fosters total employee financial security.”…Link to press release (opens in new window)

Ford targets “wellness” of employees
Morning Ledger
The company said the importance of wellness for Ford employees is even more… into a wellness program such as a gym or other efforts to encourage healthy Link to complete article (opens in new window)

Dangling bigger incentives for workplace wellness programs …
Is tiered pricing fair? When the health law was first adopted, some people worried that wellness incentive programs would become a way to weed out unhealthy … Link to complete article (opens in new window)

The Latest In Wellness Programs: Get Healthy, Or Else
Inc.com
Since employers pay the majority of their worker’s health-plan premiums, an increase in a … Using wellness incentives effectively — and in a way that employees …Link to complete article (opens in new window)

A New Orriant Case Study Demonstrates the Success of Wellness …
PR Web (press release)
Designed to set up an outline of healthy living, Orriant programs focus on improving … Due to the benefits of these wellness incentives from Orriant’s company …Link to complete release (opens in new window)

July 2013

Wellness programs increase financial incentive, but more guidance 
Idaho Business Review
The final joint regulations are titled Incentives for Nondiscriminatory Wellness Programs in GroupHealth Plans. However, there are inconsistencies between the …Link to complete article (opens in new window)

Management Support a Key Factor in Successful Wellness Programs
Even if the senior leadership says they support wellness and approve spending on health programs, if they do not actively participate, employees will not take …Link to complete blog (opens in new window)

Workplace wellness program | Health Blog | Wellness Blog
As a leader in the health industry, Wellworks offers a free health blog including dynamic wellness blog articles…Link to complete blog (opens in new window)

Companies can boost productivity by investing in corporate wellness
gulfnews.com
Dubai: The fitness craze in the UAE has hit the ground running, and companies would do well to turn the healthy tide in their favour by investing more in corporate wellness programs to boost employee productivity. “Companies either need to make money …Link to complete article (opens in new window)

7 proactive ways to approach wellness in the workplace
HR.BLR.com
Conduct a survey of employees to get a baseline on attitude and beliefs about what health and wellness and program elements to include. Based on in-house resources, size, and scope, decide if your wellness program can be managed in-house or if you …Link to complete article

How companies can resuscitate their health plans
Fortune
Business leaders who spent those years betting on workplace wellness programs to reduce costs, you lose. Wellness programs don’t reduce health spending. Even in the best-case scenario (committed employers and motivated participants) savings are …Link to complete article (opens in new window)

Positive Incentives & Rewards More Likely to Encourage Healthy Behaviors
PsychCentral.com
As their portion of health insurance costs have grown, some employers have used some form ofincentive to encourage healthy behaviors among employees. Now, new research suggests that how these incentives are framed — as benefits for healthy-weight …Link to complete article (opens in new window)

New federal rules raise reward cap for participation in wellness plans
MiBiz
In issuing the new rules, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services seeks to support “participatory” or activity-based wellness programs that are made available to employees regardless of health status and offer financial incentives for …Link to complete article (opens in a new window)

The Increasingly Meaningful Role of Wellness in the Workplace: Franciscan …
nwitimes.com
Specifically demonstrating the economic upside of adopting and maintaining employee wellness programs, findings from the University of Michigan Health Management Research Center show healthy employees cost an average of $4,000 less each year in ...Link to complete article (opens in a new window)

The Unintended Consequences of Company Wellness Penalties
Daily Beast
About 18 percent of workplace wellness programs include some kind of penalty for employees who don’t get healthy—and a 2010 survey by Hewitt Associates found that percentage is expected to rise to 47 percent by 2015. But three new studies on …Link to complete article (opens in a new window)

HOLLY CULHANE: Company wellness programs make dollars and cents
Bakersfield Californian
Surveys indicate about 34 percent of workers do not participate in their companies’ wellness programs. Some ways to encourage participation include company contributions into healthsavings accounts or health reimbursement accounts; financial …Link to complete article (opens in a new window)

Wellness Programs Help Reduce Costly Impact of Obesity, Chronic Illness in …
WorkersCompensation.com (press release)
Phoenix, AZ (WorkersCompensation.com) - Wellness programs are increasingly important as employers scramble to comply with the Affordable Care Act. By implementing wellness programs, employers may reduce the financial impact of ill or absentee employees …Link to complete article (opens in a new window)

June 2013

Using Wellness Incentives to Drive Healthy Choices and Better …
Using Wellness Incentives to Drive Healthy Choices and Better Outcomes. Source: Aon Hewitt | added 06/25/13. This PowerPoint presentation by Aon Hewitt …Link to complete presentation (opens in a new window)

Energizing employee wellness with incentives – Workplace …
You can motivate employees to invest in their well-being by rewarding them with incentives for wellness participation and/or healthy outcomes. Boosting the …Link to complete article (opens in a new window)

Final Rules on Wellness Programs Issues – Clifton Budd & DeMaria 
The Departments of Treasury, Labor and Health and Human Services have issued final regulations on “wellness programs” under the Affordable Care Act. A  …Link to complete article (opens in a new window)

Forum: Wellness programs can help a company’s bottom line
Frederick News Post (subscription)
More than 81 percent of businesses nationwide offer wellness programs, according to Cunningham, though they vary widely. The programs include incentives to lower insurance fees for employees, health screenings, activities and educational sessions…Link to complete article (opens in a new window)

Is your company’s employee wellness program ready for 2014?
Puget Sound Business Journal (Seattle) (blog)
If your business offers rewards or penalties to employees for healthy (or unhealthy) behavior, get ready for changes in federal rules arriving January 1, 2014. The updated rules in general give more freedom to employers who use wellness programs that …Link to complete article (opens in a new window)

Taking a Culture-First Mentality With Workplace Wellness
Wired
It’s easy for employers to be overly prescriptive with their wellness programs, telling employees to “complete this health risk assessment (HRA),” “take that biometric screening” or “participate in this specific program.” But it’s unclear how these …Link to complete article (opens in a new window)

Employee wellness programs could help cut costs boost productivity
Healio
Investing in an employee wellness program could help cut costs and improve productivity in the manufacturing business, according to researchers from Iowa State University. “All our evidence says there will be a net positive financial return for the Link to complete article (opens in a new window)

Poll: When it Comes to Wellness Programs, Employees Care About Cash …
DigitalJournal.com (press release)
“This poll shows that even though employees want access to wellness programs and will participate for an incentive, they don’t want these programs to be required in exchange for a lower insurance premium,” said Dean Debnam, chief executive officer of Link to press release (opens in a new window)

Are Corporate Wellness Programs a Boon or Boondoggle?
ThomasNet Industrial News Room
In background materials about the ACA and its wellness provisions, the U.S. Dept. of Labor explains that, beginning in 2014, the ACA increases “the maximum permissible reward under a health-contingent wellness program from 20 percent to 30 percent of …Link to complete article (opens in a new window)

Demand for Wellness Incentives Grows – Incentivemag.com
Demand for Wellness Incentives Grows – Virgin HealthMiles study finds that the majority of employees take health and wellness offerings into consideration …Link to complete article (opens in a new window)

Employers increasingly use rewards, penalties to improve employee health
Workers Comp Forum
The most popular incentives or rewards for engaging in health and wellness programs were reduced premiums, gift cards, merchandise, and cash. The disincentives — penalties — for poor health choices included higher premiums and higher plan deductibles …Link to complete article (opens in a new window)

Workplace wellness programs: Helpful or burdensome?
Family Practice News Digital Network
“We’d rather see employers incentivize healthy choices,” he said in an interview. “Incentives can be an effective way to motivate some employees to participate in workplace wellness programs and to begin behavior changes,” said Larry Hausner, CEO of Link to complete article (opens in a new window)

Willis North America Honored With Best Employers for Healthy Lifestyles ( R …
MarketWatch
Willis North America’s cutting-edge health and wellness program is driven by five key principles: shared Associate responsibility, consumerism, wellness, communication and education, and stewardship. It was designed to be fully integrated with the …Link to complete article (opens in a new window)

May 2013

Employers Get Leeway on Health Incentives
New York Times
The rule allows employers to reward or penalize employees who meet specific standards related to their health. Such “outcome-based wellness programs” could, for example, reward employees who do not use tobacco or who achieve a specific cholesterol …Link to complete article (opens in a new window)

Wellness Programs: Should Your Association Have One?
Associations Now
Should companies devote major resources to actively improving the health and wellness of their employees? A recent survey found nearly 90 percent of employers say yes. Skeptics and supporters of businesses aggressively trying to improve the health of …Link to complete article (opens in a new window)

How to Start an Employee Wellness Program
Business Insider
According to Corporate Wellness Magazine, every $1 invested in employee wellness programs yields roughly $4 in savings through reduced sick days, higher productivity and decreased overall health costs. It’s no wonder why: We live in a fast-paced, busy …Link to complete article (opens in a new window)

Employee Wellness Programs for a More Productive Workforce
Employee Wellness Programs for a More Productive Workforce. Link to complete article (opens in a new window)

Engaging Employees in Corporate Wellness
PayScale Career News
From corporate-sponsored health fairs and biometric screenings to onsite wellness services and fitness incentives, any size company can develop a wellness program that supports the well-being of their most precious asset – their employees. How do …

Why it Pays to Redefine Your Wellness Program - Corp! Magazine
By Scott Foster May 16, 2013. “Wellness,” said Dan Rather on a 1979 episode of 60 Minutes, “There’s a word you don’t hear every day.” Since that fateful Link to complete article (opens in a new window)

Top three lessons for employers launching a wellness program
Nashville Business Journal (blog)
I sat down with Ron Trammel, manager of health promotion and education at BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, to talk work-site wellness at the company’s Wellness University event today in Nashville. Company officials were in town to educate local 
Link to complete article (opens in new window)

Growing Use of Carrots and Sticks to Motivate Healthy Employee Behaviors
WorldatWork’s workspan weekly: 82% of employers are now using rewards and penalties in their wellness programs…Link to complete article (opens in a new window)

Connecticut Workers Get $2.1 Million For Not Participating in Wellness Program
Patch.com
Under an initiative backed by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy thousands of state employees identified with serious chronic health problems were paid an incentive to participate in a wellness program which was never offered to them. Posted by Wendy Vincent …Link to complete article (opens in a new window)

Companies report more than 300 percent ROI on wellness …
More companies are launching employee health and wellness programs. Rising healthcare costs are affecting many employers nationwide, and many Link to complete article (opens in a new window)

EEOC Meeting Explores Wellness Programs’ Evolution
Occupational Health and Safety
“There has been broad, bipartisan support for the expanded use of wellness programs to reduce health insurance and health care costs, but today’s meeting underscored the importance of insuring that those programs are designed and implemented in a …Link to complete article (opens in a new window)

Employee Health Incentives: Myth or Miracle?
Workforce Management
The debate over workplace wellness incentives is becoming more pronounced, as some are saying that they don’t motivate workers to improve their health while others contend they can be crucial to boost program participation and outcomes. The Affordable …Link to complete article (opens in a new window)

Health of corporate wellness programs can lead to success
Cleveland Jewish News
Although it would be nice to imagine that corporations initiate wellness programs because they are altruistic, statistics indicate these initiatives make good business sense. Studies show that 70 percent of all health-care costs are the direct result Link to complete article (opens in a new window)

AmEx’s safety, health, and wellness programs earn top prize – HR.BLR.com– BLR
HR.BLR.com
Many organizations use CHAA criteria as benchmarks to create and improve their own safety and health programs. The awards program, established in 1997, requires extensive documentation of programs and practices and an on-site visit by a team ofLink to complete article (opens in a new window)

Beneflex Outlines Updates to Employer-Sponsored Group Health Plans Noozhawk The IRS has released proposed regulations that address how wellness incentives or penalties are applied to premium affordability (for purposes of the employer shared responsibility/play or pay requirements) and to minimum value. The proposed …Link to complete article (opens in new window)

OSU survey: Obstacles remain, but wellness programs can be effective Akron Legal News The survey results show that workplace wellness programs can be effective in improving workers’ health, according to Bernadette Melnyk, Ohio State’s chief wellness officer and dean of the College of Nursing, who spearheaded the survey. “Implementing Link to complete article (opens in new window)

Health: Six easy steps to employee health State-Journal.com If your place of employment hasn’t already begun a worksite wellness program, May is Global Employee Health and Fitness Month and a great time to get started. Worksite wellness programs may be extensive or may begin with simple educational classes or …Link to complete article (opens in new window)

ACOEM Panel Offers Advice on Use of Incentives in Worker Wellness  Newswise (press release)    Titled “Workplace Wellness and the Use of Outcomes Based Incentives,” the panel offered advice for employers to ensure their incentives programs maximize the health improvement results such programs are designed to achieve, while also providing proper Link to complete article (opens in new window)

Sen. Bill Monning: Employer health programs can backfire on employees San Jose Mercury News Central to health care reform has been an increased focus on health promotion and prevention programs, including programs based in workplaces commonly referred to as “health and wellness programs.” In concept, encouraging employee health and …Link to complete article (opens in new window)

School district, employees looking for savings from new wellness programs. The Westerly Sun Employees who take part in Interactive Health’s wellness program can potentially save 2.5 percent on health insurance next year and remain eligible for the discount as long as results from the next blood test are the same or better. Posted: Friday Link to complete article (opens in new window)

April 2013

Structuring Legal, Ethical, And Practical Workplace Health Incentives: A Reply 
Health Affairs (blog)  This commentary is in response to the March 5, 2013 Health Affairs article, “Wellness Incentives in the Workplace: Cost Savings through Cost Shifting to Unhealthy Lifestyles.” In that article, Jill Horwitz and coauthors express concerns about new rules …Link to complete blog (opens in a new window)

TEDMED Great Challenges: Inventing Wellness Programs That …
The health industry has developed many wellness programs from zero benefit deductibles for recommended services and primary care services to actively …Link to complete article (opens in a new window)

 Wellness programs aim to balance employee health and company costs
The Union Leader.  To further help employees with wellness, the company hired a full-time wellness manager and allowed employees access to online health coaching through their health insurer Cigna. While all of this is voluntary, the wellness coordinator does …Link to complete article (opens in a new window)

Workplace health incentives: Legal discrimination?
ABC15.com (KNXV-TV)  Employers across the nation are trying to curb the health care costs of their workers, and for some, wellness programs seem to be the answer. In fact, 86 percent of employers indicated that they currently offer wellness-based incentives, according to a…Link to complete article (opens in a new window)

Washington County may try incentive to improve worker health
Johnson City Press   We may end up paying a little bit more, but with incentives to stay healthy, the better chance we have to stabilize insurance costs.” Stewart said a $7,500 wellness incentive grant from BlueCross BlueShield, the county’s health insurance provider, will Link to complete article (opens in a new window)

How can an employer tell if its corporate wellness program is really working?
MedCity News  The news is not ideal timing considering the themes in this week’s World Health Care Congress in Washington, D.C., where scores of companies were selling services, apps and other employee wellness plans that they hope will engage patients and save Link to complete article (opens in a new window)

Wellness Programs –The Affordable Care Act and the IRS
NewsReleaseWire.com (press release)  The last several years the Department of Health and Human Services and the IRS have put in guidelines that regulate what qualifies as an acceptable “health contingent wellness program”. Under the Affordable Care Act those rules have been modifiedLink to complete article (opens in a new window)

Companies look to penalties, incentives to keep employees healthy
Tribune-Review  The expanding waistlines of many American workers are costing employers billions of dollars, prompting some companies to resort to extraordinary measures to encourage them to stay healthy.Wellness programs intended to push workers to deal with …Link to complete article (opens in a new window)

Companies using tech, games to keep workers health-savvy
Westfair Online  Instead of sending out mass emails or holding more meetings, businesses with employee health and wellness programs are beginning to embrace technology platforms to encourage their employees to improve and monitor their health. About 75 percent of Link to complate article (opens in new window)

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