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USA Idea Center Health & Safety

Gift Cards - A Healthy Choice for Wellness Program Incentives

As employers are faces with ever-increasing health insurance costs and the need to recruit quality employees in an improving labor market, a clear majority (more than 90 percent) of U.S. companies with 200 or more workers are now offering some form of employee wellness program.

And incentives, such as gift cards, are playing a big role in successful participation.

According to a 2016 survey by Fidelity Investments and the National Business Group on Health, corporate employers plan to spend an average of $594 per employee on wellness-based incentives within their health care programs, a 15 percent increase from the 2013 average.

That same survey reports that the most popular wellness-based incentives continue to be decreases in premiums (61 percent), cash or gift cards (55 percent), or employer-sponsored contributions to health savings accounts or similar programs (27 percent).

The attraction of incentives to boost wellness program participation is underscored by 2014 report by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the Employee Benefit Research Institute in which 58 percent of employees said they take part in wellness programs "to win prizes."

Here are a few ideas on the ways gift cards can be beneficial tie-ins to wellness program success.

Some of the most successful wellness programs incorporate an incentive/rewards component to inspire participants to focus on their healthy lifestyle goals.  Gift cards, which can be redeemed at health-oriented spots such as gyms, health clubs, sporting goods and natural food grocers, have all proven to be very popular.

National Gift Card experts are always available to help steer wellness program administrators towards appropriate gift card rewards.  Please contact us, let's talk and let NGC to the rest to "put more muscle" into your employee wellness program.