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July 30, 2014 | News

Survey: Outcomes-Based Incentives Continues to Grow

Towers Watson and the National Business Group on Health recently released its 19th annual employer survey on purchasing value in healthcare. This survey, entitled The New Health Care Imperative: Driving Performance, Connecting to Value, tracks employers' strategies and practices in providing and managing health benefits for their workforce, as well as the results of these efforts.

The survey revealed that, despite an environment of continued healthcare cost increases, employers are committed to providing subsidized healthcare benefits to active employees. Although true, there are growing concerns about companies' long-term abilities to provide these benefits due to the fact that costs continue to rise above the rate of inflation. Many employers are turning to outcomes-based incentives to help combat these trends.

  • In 2014, 22% of companies adopted outcomes-based incentives (other than for tobacco)
    By 2015, 46% of companies are expected to implement such programs
  • Two-thirds of companies also use financial incentives to encourage participation
  • Many employers are putting greater amounts at stake - a current average of $50 per month for completing all available wellness activities
  • Employers are embracing wellness as a family issue - 40% of companies are extending wellness incentives to spouses

The survey also showed that employee affordability issues are a growing challenge, and that over 61% of employers say their current plans will trigger the ACA's excise tax on high-cost plans. Keep in mind three things:

  1. Avoid the 9.5% rule that prevents a $250 per employee/per month penalty for not offering affordable coverage.
  2. It's never too early to plan for the Cadillac Tax. 
  3. Bravo Wellness can help you prepare for and avoid all of these things.

To learn more about the strategies employers are implementing in their health benefit programs, and to gain insight into what's working, read the full report here.

Topics: News

The efficacy of wellness programs and incentives have been targeted by hundreds of research studies with mixed results. Let's figure out why before putting too much weight into the headlines or conclusions.

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