Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Corporations Push Wellness Programs as a Return On Investment

"An encumbrance historically, the federal government is finally catching on that the private sector is taking the initiative to attack health costs and that it needs to get out of the way. Federal law limits the amount of financial incentives companies can give employees for losing weight or kicking a smoking habit. It also treats subsidized gym memberships as taxable income. Health reformers want to remove the handcuffs. One of President Barack Obama’s eight goals for health legislation is investment in wellness and prevention. There is a flurry of legislation from both sides of the aisle. Democratic Sens. Tom Harkin of Iowa and Max Baucus of Montana want to grant tax credits for corporate wellness programs. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, is sponsoring the Workforce Health Improvement Program Act of 2009 to allow employers to subsidize health-club memberships up to $900 annually.”

http://www.star-telegram.com/news/columnists/steve_jacob/story/1392759.html

1 comment:

Recess said...

Additionally for those small to midsize companies already offering this benefit, leveling the tax incentive playing field will make it easier for them to offer additional wellness programs on-site. Given the attention currently paid to the economy and health care costs, WHIP would be an inexpensive way to get employers more involved in employee wellness.