LINCOLNSHIRE, Ill., March 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Incentives—in the form of both rewards and consequences—are playing an increasingly important role in helping employers drive participation in health programs and encouraging employees to take actions to improve their health, according to new survey findings from Aon Hewitt, the global human resource solutions business of Aon plc (NYSE: AON). (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20100719/AQ37264LOGO) Aon Hewitt's survey of nearly 800 large and mid-size U.S. employers representing more than 7 million U.S. employees found that 83 percent offer employees incentives for participating in programs that help employees become more aware of their health status. These actions may include taking a health risk questionnaire (HRQ) or participating in biometric screenings. Of the 83 percent of employers that offer incentives for these types of programs:
79 percent offer incentives in the form of a reward
5 percent offer incentives in the form of a consequence
16 percent offer a mix of both rewards and consequences.
Aon Hewitt's survey shows almost two-thirds (64 percent) of employers offer monetary incentives of between $50 and $500, and nearly one in five (18 percent) offer monetary incentives of more than $500. "Employers recognize the first step in getting people on a path to good health is providing employees and their families with the opportunity to become informed and educated about their health risks and the modifiable behaviors that cause those risks," said Jim Winkler, chief innovation officer for Health & Benefits at Aon Hewitt. "HRQs and biometric screenings are the key tools in providing that important information and serve as the foundation that links behaviors to action. Motivating people to participate through the use of incentives is a best practice in the industry and these strategies will continue to be a critical part of employers' health care strategies in the future." According to a separate recent Aon Hewitt survey conducted in partnership with the National Business Group on Health and The Futures Company, of the workers who were offered an HRQ and received suggested action steps based on their results, four out of five (86 percent) took some action. Further, nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of those who received suggested actions reported they made at least one lifestyle improvement as a result.