Employers Get Tough

March 15, 2012
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The Georgetown authors cite one wellness program that wields a stick. It suggests employers raise deductibles from, say, $500 to $2,500. Workers can then “earn credits” worth $500 each to lower the deductible if they meet certain targets for four factors: body-mass index, blood pressure, cholesterol, and tobacco use. A nonsmoking, normal-weight employee with healthy cholesterol and blood pressure winds up back at the $500 deductible. “If you’re on the wrong end of any of those four tests, your costs have gone up,” says Volk.

The Georgetown authors cite one wellness program that wields a stick. It suggests employers raise deductibles from, say, $500 to $2,500. Workers can then “earn credits” worth $500 each to lower the deductible if they meet certain targets for four factors: body-mass index, blood pressure, cholesterol, and tobacco use. A nonsmoking, normal-weight employee with healthy cholesterol and blood pressure winds up back at the $500 deductible. “If you’re on the wrong end of any of those four tests, your costs have gone up,” says Volk.

Full study by Volk J.A. and Corlette S. from Georgetown University. HT: Sarah Kliff.