Health reform provisions place greater emphasis on health incentives

by: Nichole Gunn July 15, 2010

While health care and insurance industries franticly begin to restructure their business plans, companies in the incentives industry look forward to the new opportunities the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will create. Experts believe that the new bill, also known as Obamacare, will increase the demand for health incentives.

Currently 80% of companies have employee programs related to health and wellness. Those types of programs have shown a positive ROI as they significantly decrease health care costs for companies. Companies have started encouraging participation by offering incentives.

Incentive Magazine reports that right now companies can offer incentives costing maximum 20% of the total healthcare premium spent per employee.

By supporting health and wellness programs the new health care act will allow companies to offer greater incentives to those who participate, increasing the percentage of the total healthcare premium spent per employee to 30%, and possibly even 50%.

“Looking at all aspects of wellness programs, the incentives piece is the most rapidly growing around the world,” says Hall. “And although the majority of employer incentives today is based on activity, such as participation, the fastest-growing type of incentive reward is based on achievement, such as maintaining a healthy weight or blood pressure.”, said Barry Hall, principal of clinical health care and global technology solutions for Buck Consultants.