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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

New Survey Finds That Most Consumers Oppose Penalties in Employee Health Insurance Wellness Programs

Lydia Mitts

Former Associate Director of Affordability Initiatives

Earlier today, the Kaiser Family Foundation released findings from a new survey on consumer sentiment around the role of employee wellness programs. The poll found that, while 76 percent of the public supports employers offering wellness programs that promote healthy behaviors, the majority of consumers (74 percent) are opposed to employers charging higher premiums if workers don’t meet the health goals of their workplace wellness program. You can read more about the wellness program poll here.

These findings support a point that we’ve repeatedly made about wellness programs: an effective and consumer-friendly wellness program is one that helps employees reach their health goals—not one that penalizes consumers and threatens access to affordable health coverage. As these findings show, employees know the difference.

To learn more about how to design effective wellness programs, read our wellness issue brief series here, as well as a related blog post on the efficacy of penalty-based wellness programs.