Taking care of your health by exercising and eating right, now has more than its own rewards.

The new healthcare legislation grants employers to offer  up to 30 percent of the healthcare premium to employees. Rewards can come in the form of discounted travel and merchandise. The benefit to the employers  is the lower cost of  premiums for those who join wellness programs and satisfy designated health goals.  This of course is in addition to less staff on sick-leave due to complications from obesity and its associated ailments like hypertension and diabetes.

“Health insurance is the only one that doesn’t have a good-driver discount” according to Sean Forbes, president of Virgin HealthMiles.  He aims to change this as head of an incentive program which works with any insurance plan for companies.

UnitedHealth Group, one of the biggest insurance companies, is warming to the idea as well with their new program- Personal Rewards.  Points are awarded for hitting goals related to blood pressure, cholesterol and body mass index along with undergoing preventive screenings for the breast, prostate and colorectal system. Several large companies like Pitney Bowes have enrolled in the program.  This company will reward their participants with $350 back at the end of the year.  Jones Lang LaSalle who also signed on to Personal Rewards, added an incentive to address back problems.

UnitedHealth is seeing a positive return on its investment in year two of this program according to its projections as companies are rushing to sign on their employees.

Whether it is for financial gain or altruism is immaterial for if we  become healthier, we all win.