Most employees don’t think they should be required to participate in wellness programs to qualify for employer-provided health insurance, according to a new survey released by the National Business Group on Health. Moreover, they don’t think employers should charge employees more for health coverage if they don’t meet specific health goals.
Employees oppose the linking of their health plan to wellness program participation, with 62% opposing charging employees more for health coverage if they do not participate in wellness programs. Over 80% of employees favor offering a financial reward to employees who meet specific health goals but only 29% favor charging employees more for health coverage if they don’t meet health goals. Sixty-eight percent oppose requiring employees to participate in a wellness program in order to qualify for health insurance.
“You can give them more, but you can’t charge them or take it away from them, according to these employees,” noted Helen Darling, president, NBGH, during a press briefing.
However, the survey of 1,545 employees at companies with 2,000 or more employees also found nearly four-in-ten (39%) rank biometric screenings as a very important health benefit program, followed by exercise programs (31%) and onsite fitness centers (31%). Interestingly, 35% of employees don’t consider any of these programs to be very important.