What if health insurance carriers teamed up with employers to improve employee health, lower the number of cars on the roads, and give employees a discount on their health insurance? What would it take to get people to participate? Here’s the idea: Let’s say a company has 200 employees, and offers health insurance to them, with the employees paying 30% of the cost of the premiums. Then the company, together with the insurance carrier, start to offer an incentive program to improve employee health and lower insurance claim costs. They offer to pay 1% more on the employees’ health insurance premiums for every day that the employee gets to work using some sort of exercise-based method (bike, run, walk, skateboard, rollerskate, etc.)
The company would have to work out the logistics, like what to do for an employee who lives 40 miles away (perhaps there could be an allowance to use public transportation until 5 miles from work, and then bike the rest of the way, or something like that). But other than that, it could just be up to each employee to take the deal or not. So an employee who bikes to work 15 days out of the month would only pay 15% of the cost of her health insurance for that month. The other 15% would be split between the insurance carrier and the employer. Over time, if the companies that participated in the program started to have lower health care costs because of improved employee fitness, the insurance carrier could begin to offer lower overall premiums to companies that signed up a certain percentage of their employees on the program.
An added bonus would be less traffic on Colorado roads, and happier employees who arrive to work feeling like they just did something good for themselves, rather than grumpy from sitting in traffic.
tags: health insurance