Preventive care gets popular as employers seek healthy workers

Premium content from South Florida Business Journal by Jeff Zbar

November 18, 2011

For the 370 people employed statewide by the Gunster  law firm, wellness and preventive care are part of the practice.

They have weight-loss and healthy diet programs. A walking program uses an accelerometer clipped to the shoe to track cumulative steps taken. One program logged miles walked along the fictional Gunster Trail – the more than 500 miles from its Miami to Tallahassee offices.

They’ve negotiated policies that have low copayments – $25 for some general practitioners. Realizing preventive care could be the path to better health, fewer claims and lower insurance premiums, the firm holds annual health care screenings hosted by its insurance provider. For employees who participate in preventive care, the firm is considering decreasing employee participation in the health plan by $25 a month.

“We’re trying to financially incentivize people to have better behavior,” COO Steve McDermott said. The goal is to encourage people to take the time to visit their doctor.

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