Amid Rising Health Costs, Companies Turn to Employee Wellness Programs

Rising health costs and an aging workforce have encouraged employers to adopt or expand wellness programs aimed at boosting the health of employees.

What's the Latest?


In an age of rising health costs and facing the prospect of a forthcoming government squeeze, more companies are setting up wellness programs for their employees. These programs encourage workers to maintain healthy lifestyles, thereby reducing medical costs for the firm down the line. On paper, the programs seem like a win-win. In practice, evidence suggests there are bumps on the road. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports:

Studies have shown that the programs have a limited ability to reduce costs. They also raise concerns about privacy and discrimination against older workers or those who are more likely to have chronic conditions.

What's the Big Idea?

The major glaring problem (among other bits of lousiness) with the American healthcare system is that costs are ridiculously, almost prohibitively high. Until that affliction is cured, there will always be issues related to its symptoms. But with no reasonable solution in sight, prevention appears to be the best protection against risks both health-related and financial. Many companies offer incentive programs to employees to encourage them to maintain healthy habits or go in for routine check-ups. Some have begun experimenting with penalties. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, again:

These penalties most often stick employees who do not participate with larger premiums or deductibles, but they also can come in the form of a straight monthly surcharge, deducted from paychecks.

Keep Reading at The St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Photo credit: YanLev / Shutterstock

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Should you invest in China's stock market? Know this one thing first.

Despite incredible economic growth, it is not necessarily an investor's paradise.

Videos
  • China's stock market is just 27 years old. It's economy has grown 30x over that time.
  • Imagine if you had invested early and gotten in on the ground floor.
  • Actually, you would have lost money. Here's how that's possible.
Keep reading Show less

Scientists claim the Bible is written in code that predicts future events

The controversy around the Torah codes gets a new life.

Michael Drosnin
Surprising Science
  • Mathematicians claim to see a predictive pattern in the ancient Torah texts.
  • The code is revealed by a method found with special computer software.
  • Some events described by reading the code took place after the code was written.
Keep reading Show less
Videos
  • Facebook and Google began as companies with supposedly noble purposes.
  • Creating a more connected world and indexing the world's information: what could be better than that?
  • But pressure to return value to shareholders came at the expense of their own users.
Keep reading Show less