Fitness Emerges as Strategy To Curb Health Care Costs
The Assembly is considering legislation intended to push more employers to offer wellness benefits to employees as part of an effort to improve California workers' health, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
AB 1439 by Assembly member Lloyd Levine (D-Van Nuys) would provide state tax credits amounting to 10% of a company's spending on employee wellness programs, including:
- Installation of an employee gym, pool or sports field;
- Subsidies for employee gym memberships;
- Purchase of equipment for an employee sports team; and
- Payments to yoga instructors or people who advise employees on nutrition or substance abuse prevention.
However, the cost to the state of the proposed tax credits has not been estimated, leading to speculation that the proposal is more likely to be scaled back if it would reduce state revenue substantially. No legislative hearings have been scheduled on the matter (Lucas, San Francisco Chronicle, 3/10).
Two newspapers recently published features on employers adopting programs to encourage healthy behavior among employees. Headlines and links appear below.
- "Employers Market Good Health To Cut Insurance Costs" (Solovitch, Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal, 3/9).
- "For Many Employees, Fitness Has Its Prize" (Yi, Los Angeles Times, 3/12).