The Salt Lake Tribune published an overview of several companies’ wellness incentive and penalty programs.
Provo, Utah-based Nature’s Sunshine Products attributes its less-than-2 percent annual increase in insurance premiums to a wellness program. Employees earn up to four hours of paid time off every six months and free health insurance if they participate in the company’s health screening and goal-setting program. Those who don't participate pay 15 percent of their insurance premiums.
My favorite quote:
"Greg Cox, assistant human resources director at Logan City [a different company], said employees were skeptical when they learned they would start paying $25 to $50 more a month for health insurance, starting in July, if they don't participate in SelectHealth's wellness program. Some thought getting their blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar level and body fat tested was intrusive. Others said they were too busy to take health classes and work with a coach.
"Still, 90 percent signed up. 'They know we have to do something,' Cox said, adding that he tries to lead by example. 'If I have a donut in my hand, I get harassed about it.'"
The message seems to be that employees may find wellness program incentives [and punishments] intrusive or unpleasant. But it may not keep them from participating.
This tells me that careful message management, along with a well-designed program, can make all the difference.