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Biometrics now part of wellness mix

MANAGED CARE October 2012. © MediMedia USA
News & Commentary

Biometrics now part of wellness mix

“What do you want from me? Blood?” So goes the oft-thought but rarely voiced employee complaint. Well, more employers have actually begun taking employee blood to integrate biometric information into wellness programs by measuring such things as cholesterol and body mass index.“ Nine percent of large firms that ask employees to complete a health risk assessment (HRA) report that employees are rewarded or penalized financially based on whether they meet specified biometric outcomes, such as meeting a target body mass index or cholesterol level,” says a study by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research & Educational Trust. (Smoking cessation is not one of the targets.)

In addition, 11 percent of large companies (200 or more employees) say that they require an employee at risk to complete a wellness program to avoid a financial penalty such as higher premium contribution or more cost-sharing.

Some large companies offer rewards or slap penalties based on wellness

Source: The Kaiser Family Foundation, and the Health Research & Educational Trust

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