The trend is angling toward tougher rules as companies fear that higher costs are on their way.
As the concern of employers increases concerning the possible rise in health insurance costs, these companies are beginning to adopt stricter policies in order to try to keep their employees more healthy, lest it impact the wallets of those workers.
Employers are starting to make it more expensive for their employees to live unhealthy lifestyles.
These companies are taking on a number of different efforts to try to encourage their workers to keep their own health insurance costs down and are trying to benefit them for this effort by keeping their expenses down. Conversely, when they do not comply with these efforts to keep more healthy – for example, for obese employees who don’t lose weight, it could mean that they will not be able to benefit from lower deductibles.
Several companies are making these changes to help to lower health insurance costs through prevention.
Michelin employees, for example, need to work on their health to obtain the best deductibles. The tire manufacturer has said that workers with waistlines over 40 inches or who have unhealthy symptoms such as high blood pressure may not have the opportunity to lower their deductibles by up to $1,000.
Similarly, other large organizations such as Home Depot and Walmart have put comparable policies into place. The purpose is to help to keep the size of the health insurance costs under control and as low as possible. However, there have been some concerns voiced about this type of strategy in that workers are being required to share personal medical information. Critics have said that this is both unfair to employees and invades in on the privacy of those individuals.
In 2012, the price of healthcare increased to an average of $12,136 per employee, said the estimates from a recent study. The employers taking part in this type of healthy lifestyle based program are saying that by being stricter, it helps to keep health insurance costs down but also helps to promote wellbeing in their workforces as a whole as an attractive side effect.