According to a recent article that appeared in the Employee Benefit News, most large companies see incentives increasingly playing a prominent role in improving the health of their employees. Most also plan on increasing the dollar value of the incentives they offer in the future. Here are a few more excerpts from the survey:
The survey finds that almost three out of four (73%) companies used incentives in 2011 to engage employees in health-improvement programs and the average incentive value was $460. That figure has steadily increased from an average of $430 in 2010 and $260 in 2009. According to the study, employers used different types of incentives including cash, gift cards and contributions to health savings accounts. The majority (57%) agreed that incentive-based programs had a better than expected success rate at increasing employee participation.
The expectation that employees also participate in these programs is also increasing:
“Employers are increasingly expecting employees to take steps to improve their health, conditioning even access to health benefits on meeting certain requirements,” says Helen Darling, NBGH president and chief executive officer. “This isn’t surprising given how much control employees can have over their own health and how much poor health habits cost employers.”