Since the early 2000’s, employers have been exploring alternatives to traditional benefit designs and health improvement programs that include motivating workers to be more responsible for their health in an effort to change their behavior. To gauge the interest and use of a value-based benefit design approach, MBGH conducted multiple studies over a four year period between 2006 and 2010. This included a national landmark survey in 2006 focused on the employers' readiness to adopt a value-based benefit design approach, a series of focus groups in both 2008 and 2010 that determined the employee perspective on value-based benefits, the triggers and barriers to engaging in health and wellness programs and the use of incentives.
The 2006 study revealed that employers experienced lower overall costs when they adopted a comprehensive value based benefit design that included incentives and disincentives to encourage behavior change.
Key findings with the 2008 focus groups included that employees: (1) have the desire and confidence to play an active role in managing their health; (2) want to make their own choices regarding what programs to participate in, (3) are skeptical of employers efforts in offering certain programs and services and (4) can be motivated by monetary incentives as well as through peer persuasion.
In 2010, the focus groups included employee spouses, coaches and physicians. The full results are offered in the following whitepaper: Triggers and Barriers of Employee Engagement of Their Health Benefits and Wellness Programs.