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Workers working out: Maryland companies help employees stay healthy
By Kevin James Shay
From Gazette.Net on Friday, September 21, 2012
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More companies plan to increase incentives such as gift cards and contributions to health savings accounts that they offer to employees to participate in wellness programs this year, according to a survey by Fidelity Investments and the National Business Group on Health.

The average incentive value last year was $460, almost double what it was in 2009. The average employer spent $169 per employee on wellness programs last year, up from $108 in 2009.

About 10 percent of companies required employees to complete a health-risk assessment to be eligible for medical benefits this year, up from 7 percent last year.

“Employers are increasingly expecting employees to take steps to improve their health,” Helen Darling, president and CEO of the Washington, D.C., National Business Group on Health, said in a statement. “This isn’t surprising given how much control employees can have over their own health and how much poor health habits cost employers,” she said.