The Good, The Bad, & The Possibilities of Outcomes-based Incentive Programs

As support for prevention and wellness programs continues to grow, so does the debate on the use of outcomes-based incentive programs. Numerous national surveys have shown that only a minority of health plans currently contain this approach, yet it is a growing trend among employers of all sizes. If a company successfully navigates the legal minefields of the genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), the health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and a myriad of workplace legal protections, key questions still remain for benefit planners. First and foremost, is this approach cost effective and will it significantly improve the health of the workforce? Second, and a more emotionally charged issue, is the question of fairness.

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