July 21, 2011

Employers Find Increase in Wellness Incentive ‘Most Beneficial’ Element of Health Reform Law, Lockton Survey Shows

KANSAS CITY, Mo., July 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Thirty-seven percent of responding Lockton Benefit Group clients found the increase in employee wellness incentives to be the most beneficial element of the health reform law. Lockton asked the question in a recent survey.

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In 2014, employers will be able to offer an incentive of up to 30 percent of an employee's total healthcare premium, if the employee is doing everything asked to improve his or her health and reduce medical costs. This is an increase from the 20 percent incentive currently permitted. More than 40 percent of Lockton Benefit Group client-companies responded to the confidential survey, which asked a dozen questions about the impact of health reform law on their group health plans. Please click here to review the complete survey results.

"We know that our employer-clients like the opportunity to reward employees that make healthy lifestyle choices," said Dr. Ian Chuang, Lockton Medical Director and member of the Health Reform Advisory Practice. "The difference in cost for health insurance for an employee with this incentive can be thousands of dollars annually, depending on the total premium cost. So for the employer, this is a true benefit of the health reform law."

Dr. Chuang noted that savvy employers realize they will ultimately reduce their health insurance costs by addressing the risks leading to illnesses and claims, which will also improve employee productivity. "The incentive program has to be designed to promote health and prevent disease," Chuang said. "Incentives like this are often key components in the overall Health Risk Management strategies we work closely with our clients to design."

Edward Fensholt, director of Lockton's Compliance Services Division and a member of the firm's Health Reform Advisory Practice added, "We expect to see further guidance under health reform that could allow employers to raise the incentive to 50 percent in special circumstances. We will continue to work with our clients to keep them informed on the latest legislation and how it impacts their business."

Please click here to review the complete results of Lockton's May 2011 Employer Health Reform Survey.

About Lockton

More than 4,100 professionals at Lockton provide more than 15,000 clients around the world with insurance, benefits, and risk management services, offering an uncommon level of client service. From its founding in 1966 in Kansas City, Missouri, USA, Lockton has grown to become the largest privately held insurance broker in the world and 9th largest overall. Independent researcher Greenwich Associates awarded Lockton its 2011 Service Excellence Award for risk management for large companies. Business Insurance has twice recognized Lockton as a "Best Place to Work in Insurance." You can learn more at www.lockton.com.

SOURCE Lockton