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Principal: Workers Warm Up To Worksite Care

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Employees may be getting more comfortable with the idea of using employer-sponsored health screening programs.

Researchers at Principal Financial Group Inc., Des Moines, Iowa, have published figures supporting that conclusion in a summary of results from a recent Web-based survey of 1,179 workers at U.S. businesses with 10 to 1,000 employees.

Only 11% of the survey participants said their employers provided access to on-site health screenings.

But, at employers that offer both blood sugar and blood cholesterol screenings, 77% of the survey participants say they participate in both types of screening programs, up from 59% a year earlier.

When researchers asked about the best incentives for motivating participants to use wellness programs, 53% said simply improving overall physical health would be the best incentive.

About 38% said cutting personal health care costs would be the best incentive, and 38% said a concrete reward would be the best incentive.

Researchers also asked about the factors participants with a choice of plans consider when making their selections.

The importance of the monthly paycheck deduction ranked first, with 31% of survey participants identifying that as the top priority, up from 25% a year earlier.

Only 19% named provider selection flexibility, down from 23%, while the percentage who focus on the physician office co-payment increased to 14%, from 11%.