You read that right. AARP Bulletin's Susan Jaffe points out a measure in our health reform legislation that would allow small businesses to offer rewards to their employees to partake in wellness incentive programs:
Under the House health care reform bill passed in November, small businesses could get grants of up to $50,000 to help pay for employee wellness incentive programs that are approved by the secretary of Health and Human Services. The companies could provide a financial reward for workers who participate, but such incentives could not be used to reduce an individual's health insurance premium or out-of-pocket expenses. However, under the Senate bill now under consideration, workers who participate in proven health promotion or disease prevention programs could be rewarded with as much as a 50 percent insurance premium discount.
While some sort of funding for wellness programs with rewards will be included in the final health care bill, it's unknown as to whether financial incentives in the form of insurance premium discounts will be allowed. Read the rest for more info and find out the businesses that are backing this measure.