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

Comments: 39

I believe that employers could provide a real motivator for everyone and create a positive team approach within a school or organization in providing incentives for wellness behavior. Individuals could be recognized both finacially and within a school for attaining health goals. Everyone benefits from positive reinforcement.

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Cindy Mefford
Dow, IL

I am a school nurse. I want all insurance companies and health care providers to offer reduced rates for non-smokers, regular exercisers,and people who maintain their health by following doctor's orders and taking medication as ordered. I would like school districts to offer discounts to community centers for the purpose of fitness.

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Paula Kershaw
Paula Kershaw
Flower Mound, TX

It will be great , but first they should pay more attention to the coverage and price of the insurance because part time teachers are not able to pay $500 monthly for one member insurance.

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Ines Corrales
UTD
Hialeah, FL

Wellness behavior should be an integral part of pre-service training for doctors, and it should be the foundation of the entire health care industry, outweighing the bottom-line interests of employers.

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robert dobek
uft
jericho, NY

Although it might be a slippery slope, it is worth it for smokers and those seriously overweight. They cost the system just too much money.

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Jeremy Tschudin
Hudson Teachers Association
Chatham, NY

Both should provide incentives for wellness behavior so that people prevent instead of cure diseases such as high blood pressure, heart diseases and other illnesses related to obesity and sedentary life. Why should everybody else pay for the treatment of people who don’t take care of themselves?

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Carlos Amaya
Charleston, IL

Incentives for wellness behavior is being proactive and saves the employer and employee a great deal of money in the long-term. Educating people about ways they can stay fit and healthy overall could reduce debt. If more employers considered this approach and implemented measures for preventative healthcare we would have healthier communities over all and utilize resources more effectively.

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Qiana Williams
Syracuse Teachers Association
Syracuse, NY

To the extent that wellness behavior impacts one's work or medical expenses, employers and health insurers have good reason to encourage certain personal decisions and discourage others. Regarding work, employers could reasonably encourage fitness activities. Concerning health insurance, companies could incentivise healthy choices, such as weight loss programs.

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Paul Stack
EITA
Rochester, NY

I think it is great. It motivates us to take care of ourselves. It's a win-win for all concerned--kids get healthier teachers and I am all for giving educators more money. We are one of the more under-valued professions.

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Fern Michel
AFT - Alief
missouri city,, TX

I think it's one of the most sensible ideas I've heard in a long time! People don't like to be sick. Insurance companies don't like to pay medical bills. Wellness bills are probably a lot cheaper than medical bills. It's a win-win situation for all sides.

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Jeanne Sullivan
Chicago Teacher's Union
Brookfield, IL

They should provide incentives.We have done it in our insurance trust. We need to take ownership of our healthcare. People have treated their health insurance card like a credit care. They have no idea of the cost of healthcare. We need to educate ourselves and be an informed consumer of our healthcare. We need to change our behavior through education. We need to shop around for procedures and compare costs. Dr.'s and hospitals need to advertise costs. We don't need the government to inforce this. We need to do this ourselves and demand the healthcare industry to do the same. Incentatives are only part of what needs to be done.

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Gayle Green
Local 1395
Valparaiso, IN

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

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