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Public Employees: What are your thoughts about employers and health insurers providing incentives for wellness behavior?

Comments: 39

It's great we have flexible spending to assist with health insurance for cancer or heart. I would like to add chiropractic, accupuncture, and body messages to be included in the health to lower and reduce stress and pain. Physical therapy is after the injury and the pain becomes unbearable and too late. It's great we also have commuter pretax savings to use public transit. There should be other alternatives like share rides or cars across the bay area bridges. Also be great to have three or so therapy sessions for employees to discuss emotional stress and harassment issues at the workplace.

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suzanne lo
aft 2121
san francisco, CA

Hello, This a no-brainer. Providing incentives is the way to go. After all, auto insurance companies give premium discounts to safe drivers. This a great way to reward those who try to take good care of themselves. Rudy Bartolozzi

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Rudy Bartolozzi
571
Buffalo Grove, IL

This approach saves money as well as lives...

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Win Heimer
A&R Retiree Council Local 4200R
West Hartford, CT

I feel this is a worthwhile approach, it will result in cost savings as well as improving members' overall health and quality of life. It is a win-win strategy.

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Janey O'Boyle
Tri County BOCES
Dunkirk, NY

I do not think that incentives for wellness behavior by employers and health insurers are a good idea because what happens to individuals that are overweight or participate in risky hobbies or sports? Will they be charged more in health insurance premiums because of the risk they take?

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Hugo Aparicio
AFT 2121
San Francisco, CA

I am strongly in favor of rewarding healthy behaviors! Individuals that participate in preventative steps for good health will have potentially long term effects on the amount of health care needed. Within our local we have some reimbursement for health club membership. Our committee is looking at a variety of other incentives at this time.

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Peter Eckhoff
Robbinsdale Federation of Teachers
New Hope, MN

I find behavioral incentives to be questionable. I have known smokers who rarely miss a day of work, and fitness aficionados who use all their sick days every year. With a behavioral incentive program, the smoker would get nothing while the fitness aficionado would get a reward - and that doesn't seem fair. Insurance coverage for wellness activities such as exercise class would be a better approach.

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Beth Doolittle
WDEA 3115
Locke, NY

My husband and I exercised for years so this would have been wonderful. Plus with the stress and hours we work it would be nice to have incentives and reduced gym memberships etc. BUT now that we are disabled they took away our benefit bank that helped us pay our medical bills every year. We feel now they are discriminating and we think an ADA lawsuit should be filed.

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kathy adams
CFT
franklin, OH

There should be a wellness benefit provided for employees. I would think healthier employees would benefit the employer and decrease cost to health insurers.

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Debra Scovill
AFT Utah Carbon
Price,, UT

Here' a thought: Why can't health insurers refund client payments when clients don't make insurance claims, due to good health?

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Elmaree Newson
dft231
West Bloomfied, MI

Great idea. We had such a program in Brevard County, FL, and I made good use of it. Now I am retired and living in CA and miss the local benefits.

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Marion Pickett
Brevard Federation of Teachers Retired
San Jose, CA

I think the British and Swiss models are something we should consider-school faculties are superb opportunities to model healthy behaviors for communities.

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Denise Androvette
Syracuse Teacher Association
Syracuse, NY

To the extent that incentives encourage people to lead healthier lives, such incentives may well help reduce health care costs for our whole country.

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D Michael Byler
Faculty Federation of CCP
Philadelphia, PA

I think incentives for healthy living are not only a good idea but that they are only fair. A person who maintains a healthy diet and exercises regularly should not pay the same medical insurance premiums as a person who overeats and does not exercise.

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Carl Amick
CorpusChristAFT
Corpus Christi, TX

Waste of time & money. Patients listen to their doctors, not insurance companies! Give the money to research!!!

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Irene Hendricks
IRTA Unit 90
THE VILLAGES, FL

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