Want a low-cost Caribbean holiday? Don’t skip that annual doctor’s visit. An increasing number of companies are offering employees money, merchandise, and other perks for taking steps to stay healthy. And, in visible ways, these incentives are paying off. Employees are staying healthier and employers are paying less. In fact, wellness programs have been so successful in recent years that experts expect President Obama to increase the amount of money that employers can use to encourage their staff to stay healthy.
“This is the next evolution in trying to squeeze costs out by not incurring them in the first place,” said Sean Slovenski, chief executive of the firm handling rewards for health insurance giant Humana Inc.