Corporate Get Healthy Program

By Clare Jamison

If you are looking for a little extra money added to your paycheck, there is a surprising option available to you. Businesses that pay for health insurance for their employees often have their health care providers give them discounts for establishing a kind of “get healthy” plan.

The health insurance companies believe that people who exercise will remain healthy and will come up with fewer claims for their health. So many businesses today take advantage of lower premiums from the health insurers for establishing a get healthy program in-house.

All you need to do is to show your company that you are exercising enough and you can probably get a $1000 financial incentive for your trouble. Next to what businesses do to match your 401(k) contributions, there is practically nothing else that rewards employees this well.

Do companies face such frightful health insurance claims that they wouldn’t mind paying out $1000 to get people to get healthy? Two out of three companies offer these incentives today. And they seem more and more convinced by the effectiveness of these plans. So much that they double their incentives each year.

The problem though is that as much as companies want their employees to take their money and exercise to get healthy, employees haven’t really bitten at lower incentive levels. Which doesn’t make any sense of course.

Most company-sponsored health coverage plans don’t cover everything you need in the event you end up needing health care. Most employees still need to contribute co-payments for everything from medicines and tests to doctor’s visits.

The more you exercise, the more healthy you will be, and the less you will need medical attention and to make those expensive co-payments.

Of course, no one would ever be motivated just by the thought that exercising would make them actually healthier and more able to enjoy life. They need hard cash to be tempted. And that’s what these get-healthy programs aim to do.

Perhaps there is one incidental benefit to exercising that most people don’t pay attention to. Once you retire, Medicare doesn’t cover you for all your health care needs. Many people need to spend as much as $1 million on their health of their own after they retire when their employer-sponsored health insurance runs out.

The more healthy you make yourself today when you are still able to exercise, the less you’ll have to pay for your medical expenses once you retire.