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Johnson & Johnson: A Wellness Success Story

Posted Nov 10 2009 10:00pm
Thanks to skyrocketing health care costs, employee wellness has been in the news a lot these days. But according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, Johnson & Johnson has understood the importance of wellness since 1978! That's when the company launched its first employee health initiative.

Johnson & Johnson's current program is called "Live for Life," and it contains all the elements of a successful program--a health risk assessment, biometric screenings, free health counseling (.pdf) for high-risk employees, and a financial incentive for participating.

I especially like the way the plan's director, Dr. Fikry Isacc, describes the incentive. Employees who take the health risk assessment get a $500 discount up front. "If, in the risk assessment, you are found to have some of those risk factors and you participate in the program, you maintain the discount," Dr. Isaac explains. "If you're healthy, you still get the discount. All employees are treated the same."

Johnson & Johnson has recently been lobbying Congress for legislation that encourages employers of all sizes to offer wellness programs to their employees--an effort we wholeheartedly support. We think employee wellness is central to long-term health care reform.

What do you think? How can we encourage businesses to join the wellness bandwagon?
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