There is a very interesting study here from Wharton suggesting that better wellness programs could be created by employers to encourage workforce health and lower health insurance costs. The article suggests that offering employees a discount in their health insurance premiums at the end of the year is less effective than smaller incremental incentives of cash or lottery tickets given throughout the year. However, the article notes the following negatives with such programs:
Pauly pointed out that there are other issues that incentive programs must overcome, such as regulatory and legal barriers, employer reluctance to invest in programs that might not pay off until years later when many workers will be at different companies, and the resistance from employees themselves, who may see such incentive-based programs as overly paternalistic. It will also be tricky for employers to establish incentive-based programs without creating resentment among workers who don’t have any bad health habits to kick.