Over the last decade, employer-sponsored health coverage for families has increased by 97 percent
according to KaiserEDU.org. With this becoming the highest cost for small-business owners after employee compensation, lots of companies are doing what they can to reduce these costs. One way is to help employees stay healthier and in turn, lower their health care costs. For many years, employees have opted into letting their exercise or blood pressure be monitored remotely to receive cash incentives.
Unfortunately, monitoring is getting creepier. MarketWatch reports
that Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is buying spending data for people they insure. They point out, for example, "If someone, say, purchases plus-size clothing, the health plan could flag him for potential obesity—and then call or send mailings offering weight-loss solutions." This could in turn affect the group's insurance rate.
Does this cross the line of an employee's privacy? Insurers say that it does not especially when companies only get aggregate date for their group. Regardless, small-business owners need to be proactive on keeping down their health care costs.
Here are three steps to convince your employees that a "Get Healthy" program at work is a good idea:1. Clarify the problem for your employees.
This should include the high cost of health care balanced with the company's desire to cover their employees.2. Describe how it is a win-win.
Employees feel better and companies can pay a higher percentage of the insurance premium or put more money to compensation. 3. Highlight cash incentives.
Offer a $100 to $250 payment to employees that meet their individual health goals.
Keeping employees well is always a lot less expensive than treating them when they are sick.
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