With exploding health care cost, and consequently higher health insurance premiums in Santa Monica, California and the rest of the U.S., more employers and Insurers give incentives to their employees and policyholders, when they demonstrate healthy behaviors.
Employers such as American Express gave their employees $ 200 toward their health care expenses, if they walked 2.5 miles a day. Dream Works offers their employees a no-cost Weight Watcher course, pays for a gym membership and even has a health clinic at their headquarters in Glendale and Red Wood City.
Insurance companies such as Humana offers merchandise such as camping gear, cameras and even hotel rooms, to policy holders who see their doctors and undergo a test for blood pressure and cholestrol. Blue Shield will offer in 2012 in Sacramento a new Blue Grove Plan, which will give up to $ 500 break on insurance premium, if policyholders will fill out a health questionaire and get medical screening. SeeChange, Health a new California health insurer for small and medium size business, offers this year up to $ 500 rebates, while filling out health questionnaires, blood test and check ups.
Although economist have no data showing that these kind of programs are successful, common sense says by reducing weight and stress through exercise, employees and policy holders will feel better so that chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes and depression might be reduced. Even the health care reform implements in 2014 a law, which will allow employers to reimburse workers for up to 30 % of health insurance costs for meeting health goals, such as loosing excess weight or controlling cholesterol levels.
Getting Americans to live a healthier lifestyle will be able to control health care cost, so that we will be able to offer more affordable health insurance in Santa Monica, California and the rest of the country.