Assemblywoman Annette Quijano has introduced the NJ State Employee Wellness Incentive Program designed to provide all state employees with financial incentives to complete regular health screenings and participate in various wellness programs.
“If we are to be serious about reforming our state’s healthcare, we must recognize the importance of preventative care,” stated Quijano (D-Union). “Not only will this promote a healthier lifestyle for state employees, it will save a significant amount of money over the long-term.”
As Quijano continues to meet with key stakeholders to flesh out the finer details of the program, specific guidelines have been determined:
– Participating state employees would be offered a $50 premium discount per year for obtaining a comprehensive biannual health screening that would include blood pressure readings, cholesterol, glucose, and body mass index.
– Employees will receive an additional $50 discount from the plan premium per half year for maintaining a Body Mass Index of 24 or lower; a $25 biannual discount from their plan premium for a BMI between 25 and 29; and employees who have a BMI greater than 24 will receive a $50 discount from the plan premium for each 5 point reduction in BMI.
– An additional $100 premium discount per bi-annual checkup could be obtained for becoming and/or remaining certifiably tobacco-free for each half-year.
– A portion of gym or health club memberships would also be refunded for up to 10% or $50 of the membership fee, whichever is less.
Quijano noted that participation in the Wellness Incentive Program would be optional but strongly encouraged, as it will mean long term savings for the State.
“The program will promote healthier lifestyles which will in turn reduce the need for employees to draw from the state’s medical benefits,” added Quijano.
Several research studies have consistently shown that on average, wellness incentive programs maintain a return on investment of approximately $3 for every $1 spent. Various types of Employee Wellness Programs have already been implemented in 21 other states.