‘Pay for Prevention’ starts a new era in corporate wellness

by: Nichole Gunn April 13, 2010

It seems as if now more than ever before, Americans are obsessed with being ‘healthy', as they should be. Is this because our nation is more aware and more knowledgeable than ever before of the chronic conditions & diseases that could pose a severe threat to our health if we choose not to live healthier lives? Or could it be that Americans are adopting healthier lifestyle habits because they are getting paid to do so?

Getting paid to live a healthier life might seem absurd and almost too good to be true - yet, surprisingly, a plan to reward Americans for being healthy is already in the makings.

A report from the New York Times tells us about the emerging 'pay for prevention'  industry that offers companies ways to reward its employees with reduced insurance premiums or cash for exercising more and eating healthy.

New York Times reports that a number of industry pioneers are already exploring the new oppoturnity. Among those are RedBrick Health, Tangerine Wellness and Virgin HealthMiles. And industry leaders like Safeway and General Electric, are testing out the various financial incentives in search of the best ways to encourage employees to adopt healthy habits or give up the bad ones. At G.E., for instance, smokers pay an extra $625 a year.

The new industry does look quite promising for health-incentive management companies. Compared to traditional wellness programs that offer no incentives, employee participation in the new wellness programs has been surprisingly high, ranging from 50 to 80 percent.

Healthcare reform has been at the heart of heated discussions lately; and the new ‘pay for prevention’ programs could potentially benefit the crisis. Every American can help reform healthcare by making wiser lifestyle choices and adopting healthier eating habits.