Health Rewards

HR Resource
September 11, 2012 — 2,055 views  
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Health insurance companies offer a range of health rewards to their customers. Like fitness programs, these plans are designed to reward those that want to lead healthier lives. When it comes to insurance carriers, Blue Cross-Blue Shield offers one of the most popular programs on the market today. In fact, the insured can earn up to $1,000 a year just for integrating healthy activities into their lifestyles. This can be exercise, jogging, running, or even eating well-balanced and healthy meals. They can even earn this revenue by doing landscaping and healthy chores around the house. In order to secure this money, the insured must keep an on-line log of all health related activities.

They can also track their progress on-line, while earning dividends for each activity they perform. In order to qualify, you must be a current insurance subscriber. BCBS offers $1,000 in rewards to eligible subscribers, along with their spouses or domestic partners. All interested parties must also complete Wellness Profiles in order to be considered. Once their information is verified, BCBS will design customized programs to effectively meet customer needs. There are, however, penalties and legal risks of wellness programs as well. For example: some employers are now imposing penalties on employees that do not want to participate in wellness programs. This includes those that continue to smoke, or simply ignore the benefits of living healthier lives.

Some employees are also rewarding their workers with bonuses and paid vacations. These, however, are for employees that follow disease management protocols. They also participate in wellness programs, as well as incentives to help them procure healthy results. Aside from employee-based insurance, there are private and commercial carriers that offer health rewards as well. In a nutshell, these rewards are simply designed to keep health cost low. At the same time, taxation of certain incentives is still applicable across the board. This means that failure to report or withhold income and employment taxes may result in tax penalties. 

While wellness programs can foster a healthier workplace, employers must abide by all rules and regulations. They can also choose from a variety of health reimbursement programs. In fact, some programs offer a starting fee of $300 per year for insured employees. Commercial insurance customers, however, can be penalized for abusing the health rewards system. This can include falsification of information, along with failing to meet program protocols and initiatives. Still, health rewards continue to soar in popularity, and are being utilized to trim healthcare costs.

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