New Market Research Finds Benefit-Based Incentives Best for Behavior Change

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011
This post was written by Jessica Fornarotto

A gift card to Starbucks just might encourage employees to spend more time on the treadmill, but reducing their health premiums is a better long-term strategy.

At least, that’s what the results of the Healthcare Intelligence Network’s (HIN) third annual Health and Wellness Incentives Use e-survey showed. According to the survey completed by 156 healthcare organizations, more and more healthcare organizations are offering health and wellness incentives to their employees, in an attempt to get them to adopt healthier behaviors that will ultimately decrease escalating healthcare costs and shift more health ownership to the consumer.

In the third annual Health and Wellness Incentives Use e-survey, HIN captured the expanding focus, utilization and impact of health and wellness incentives in the healthcare industry, from types of incentives offered to methods for identifying individuals for incentive programs and reasons for providing incentives. The 156 responding healthcare organizations reported a growing interest in offering incentives for participation in health improvement programs and the continued popularity of incentives for HRA completion.

Other highlights from the survey include:

  • About 70 percent of responding organizations currently offer incentives and rewards for participation in health improvement programs.
  • Almost half of respondents offer gift cards as incentives.
  • Nearly 86 percent of respondents state that employees/members are eligible for incentives, a 15 percent increase over 2009, while almost 40 percent of respondents say that employee/member’s spouses are eligible, a figure that decreased by 5 percent from last year’s survey.
  • 54 percent of respondents said that they used contests and/or drawings to facilitate incentive programs.
  • Nearly 80 percent of responding organizations said they did not penalize their employees for health risk factors or non-compliance.
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