Posts Tagged - ‘employees’

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Do Group Health Insurance Wellness Incentives Actually Work?

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

Image: hobbs_luton under CC 3.0

An increasing number of companies are offering wellness incentives to their employees, in order to inspire them to maintain a healthy weight or quit smoking. Many of these benefits include the opportunity to have a higher portion of their health insurance premiums paid by the employer.

Tobacco use and obesity among the American workforce costs companies billions of dollars in increased health care costs, so it is a worthy goal. However, there are some doubts that the incentives are actually effective.

According to a study from Cornell University, the average weight loss in several of those employer programs was just one pound; too little to make a significant difference in health outcomes or group health insurance rates.

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More Restaurant Employees To Get Health Insurance

Monday, May 24th, 2010

Image: pixeljones under CC 3.0

When it comes to low-wage service jobs, the restaurant industry is at the forefront. Many employees earn minimum wage or less, due to expected tips. Many employers do not offer health insurance. Other times, the insurance is just too expensive for employees with variable hours. That is why up to 10% of the currently uninsured are those working in the food service industry.

A breakthrough agreement looks to change the status quo. United HealthCare (one of America’s largest health insurers) and the National Restaurant Association (a leading trade group) are working together to increase health insurance plan access to employees.

Four to six million people will be affected. So far, the program will only be available in several states, but they are looking towards expansion nationwide.

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