Is It Necessary to Incent Organizations to Initiate Employee Health and Wellness Programs?
Wellness incentives may seem like an effective way to get staff members excited about Employee Health and Wellness Program – but is it wise?
This helps and encourages businesses to understand the importance of maintaining a healthy employees, not only for the welfare of its staff members, but as well as the welfare of the corporate bottom line … then, yes, it could be necessary.
Tax Breaks as Wellness incentives
In 2007, two senators decided to band together to create the “Healthy Workforce Act.” This act is designed to encourage businesses to keep staff members healthy and prevent disease. The senators believed that having a country focused on “well care” versus “sick care” would decrease the overall costs of healthcare for everyone. They decided to start with America’s employees.
The legislation, introduced by Oregon Senator Gordon Smith and Iowa Senator Tom Harkin, states that companies would receive a Wellness incentive – a fifty percent tax credit – if they provide to their staff members a Employee Health and Wellness Program that meets the following criteria:
1) A health awareness and education component, which could include Health Risk Appraisals and Health Screening and Biometric Testings.
2) A behavioral change component – such as counseling, seminars, or self-help materials to empower staff members to lead healthier lifestyles.
3) A supportive environment component – including providing meaningful incentives to participating staff members, such as a reduction in health premiums or allowing staff members to engage in walking Employee Health and Wellness Programs during the workday.
4) The creation of an employee engagement committee – which would tailor the Employee Health and Wellness Program to the needs of the employees at a particular company.
If this law gets passed, many businesses will be scrambling to provide Employee Health and Wellness Programs in hopes of receiving the Wellness incentives.