The costs of the health care reform law make it more important than ever that employers keep their workers healthy and motivated to adopt healthy lifestyles, a vast majority of employers said in a recent survey.
Not only did 78 percent of employers agree or somewhat agree with that statement, but most also said they are likely or very likely to create or expand corporate wellness programs as a result of an incentive provision in the new law.
Effective January 1, 2014, employers will be able to use employee wellness program rewards or penalties of up to 30 percent of the cost of individual health coverage, up from the current limit of 20 percent.
The survey conducted by the Chicago-based Midwest Business Group on Health in partnership with Business Insurance, found that 60 percent of employers are likely or very likely to create or expand their wellness programs as a result of the wellness provision, while 33 percent said they are unlikely or not very likely to do so, and 7 percent did not answer.
The survey of 1,300 employers, including MBGH members and the National Business Coalition on Health, gauged their intentions and perspectives concerning the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
The survey also found that when it comes to communicating information to employees, 52 percent are educating employees about how the law affects their benefits; 36 percent are describing what they, as the employer, plan to do; and 35 percent are explaining to employees what’s contained in the new law.
Conversely, 38 percent of the employers surveyed said they haven’t decided what to communicate to employees and 6 percent said they don’t plan to inform employees about the law.
Source: Business Insurance, Sally Roberts