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Employers offer rewards for healthier living

Posted On Tue, August 14, 2012

Michigan employers are increasingly offering insurance rate reductions to employees willing to achieve certain health goals over the course of a year, according to the Detroit Free Press.

In exchange for participating in an annual online health assessment and achieving the goals it sets out, Michigan employees are being offered reduced health insurance rates. In some cases, the rate reduction can add up to $1,200 per year.

In the midst of the rising cost of health care benefits - the Credit Union Times expects costs for employers to increase 7% this year - using those perks has never been more advantageous to employees.

According to the Press, 27 percent of 536 mid-sized businesses in Michigan participated in this plan, tying insurance incentives to the achievement of health goals. The average employee enjoyed a monthly premium reduction of $329.

Meanwhile, employees who continue to conduct unhealthy lifestyles are paying for it: the average premium cost for smokers increased by $41.

The Press expects this trend to continue to grow once the Affordable Care Act (ACA) goes into full effect in 2014. Under the ACA, insurance companies will officially be able to penalize unhealthy habits, like smoking, with increased premiums. 

60 percent of Michigan companies surveyed by the Press said that they were likely to adopt the health incentives program in the near future.

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