Obamacare to boost corporate wellness incentive use?

The recently passed health care reform bill (the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, often referred to as “Obamacare”) may bring new business to companies in the business incentives industry.

There is plenty of evidence connecting the adoption of healthy behaviors and lifestyle choices by employees to reduced healthcare benefit costs to the companies that employ them. Companies have taken notice – some reports claim that 80% of companies have some health-related employee program in place. The positive ROI yielded by corporate wellness initiatives have lead companies to encourage greater employee participation by offering cash and non-cash incentives.

Starting in 2014, companies will be allowed to offer richer incentives to employees for participating in wellness programs and achieving certain health-related goals. Current regulations limit the value of wellness incentives that can be awarded to employees at 20% of the total healthcare premium spent per employee. In 2014 that limit will be increased to 30%, with a possibility of rising to 50%.

Here is a link to a recent article in Incentive Magazine that sheds more light on the subject.