“25 percent of large employers that provide incentives for wellness use some sort of financial penalty against their workers if they don’t participate in programs that are intended to improve their health.
Many large employers are self-insured, so such penalties accrue directly to their bottom line if enforced. Most wellness program enrollees have lower medical costs of about $40 a year…But the penalties are often 10 times more than that…
However, there is some question as to whether such penalties shift wellness programs from voluntary to compulsory–and therefore make them illegal. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently sued a Wisconsin company that refused to pay the premiums of a worker that declined to undergo screenings.
And the consensus among many workplace wellness designers is that the best way for such a program to succeed is to tailor it specifically to a company’s workplace culture.”