Is It Necessary to Incent Organizations to Initiate Employee Wellness Programs?
Wellness rewards may seem like an effective way to get workers excited about
Employee Wellness Plan – but is it wise?
This helps and encourages organizations to understand the importance of maintaining
a healthy employees, not only for the welfare of its workers, but as well as
the welfare of the business bottom line … then, yes, it could be necessary.
Tax Breaks as Wellness rewards
In 2007, two senators decided to band together to create the “Healthy
Workforce Act.” This act is designed to encourage organizations to keep
workers healthy and prevent disease. The senators believed that having a country
focused on “well care” versus “sick care” would decrease
the overall costs of health care for everyone. They decided to start with America’s
The legislation, introduced by Oregon Senator Gordon Smith and Iowa Senator
Tom Harkin, notes that businesses would receive a Wellness reward – a fifty
percent tax credit – if they offer to their workers a Employee Wellness Plan
that meets the following criteria:
- A health education and awareness component, which could include Health
risk assessments and Health Screening and Biometric Testings.
- A behavioral change component – such as counseling, seminars, or
self-help materials to empower workers to lead healthier lifestyles.
- A supportive environment component – including providing meaningful
rewards to participating workers, such as a reduction in health premiums or
allowing workers to engage in walking Employee Wellness Programs during the
- The creation of an staff member engagement committee – which would
tailor the Employee Wellness Plan to the needs of the employees at a particular
If this legislation gets passed, many organizations will be scrambling to offer
Employee Wellness Programs in hopes of receiving the Wellness rewards.