The Sticks and Carrots of Employee Wellness Programs - The New York Times
Most significantly, the law said employers could provide more rewards — or levy more surcharges, depending on how it’s framed — than they could previously: Maximum rewards or penalties now cannot exceed 30 percent of the total cost of the worker’s insurance, up from 20 percent, including both the employee’s and employer’s shares. (And if a tobacco cessation program is included, the figure rises to 50 percent).
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So for a family with coverage that is valued at $17,545 — that was the annual average total cost in 2015, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation — it would be perfectly fine for the employer to charge up to about $5,264 more, or 30 percent, for not fulfilling a goal like filling out a health risk assessment form or completing a biometric screening. That is a significant chunk of most families’ budgets.