More Employers Using Insurance Incentives, Penalties For Employees’ Health.

Reuters (10/31, Mincer) reports that an
increasing number of employers are increasing insurance premiums for employees
who are overweight or smoke. A Wal-Mart spokesman noted that tobacco users use
about 25% more insurance resources than non-smokers do. National Workrights
Institute president Lewis Maltby noted that while holding employees responsible
for their health isn’t necessarily a bad move, it could still set a bad
precedent. Others worry that poor employees cannot meet standards, such as
eating healthy or visiting a gym. Some companies, however, will offer prizes
such as $100 towards their health savings accounts if employees participate in
wellness programs.

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