A combination of rising healthcare costs and economic decline has caused many companies to take steps that were unthinkable not too long ago.
More employers are penalizing their workers for unhealthy behaviors, according to a recent study by Hewitt Associates.
According to the study, almost half (47%) of companies already use or plan to use financial penalties over the next three to five years on workers who don’t take part in health-improvement programs.
So what types of penalties are companies instituting? A majority (81%) of companies use or plan to use higher healthcare premiums to penalize workers. Other disciplinary measures included:
- increasing deductibles (17%), and
- increasing out-of-pocket expenses (17%).
The top behaviors companies are most likely to penalize workers for include:
- smoking (64%)
- not participating in disease management/lifestyle behavior programs (50%), and
- not participating in biometric screenings (45%).
Readers, weigh in. Do you think companies should penalize employees for unhealthy behaviors and for not participating in wellness/prevention program? Does your company do so? Share your thoughts in the Comments section.