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Employers boosting values of wellness incentives: Survey


Employers are boosting the values of incentives they offer employees to encourage them to take action to improve their health, according to a new survey.

The National Business Group on Health and Fidelity Investments survey, which was released Thursday, found that just under 73% of employers used incentives in 2011 as part of their health improvement programs. The average incentive value was $460, up from $430 in 2010 and $260 in 2009.

Incentives used by employers include cash, gift cards and contributions to health savings accounts.

In addition, a small but growing percentage of employers link eligibility for enrollment in their health care plans to participation in health improvement programs. For example, 7% of employers in 2011 required completion of a health risk assessment for employees to be eligible for health care plan coverage, and 10% will link completion of an HRA to plan eligibility this year.

The survey is based on the responses of 139 employers, ranging in size from 1,000 employees to 100,000 employees.