ATLANTA, June 29 (UPI) -- U.S. employee healthcare premiums discounts for getting annual health risk assessments rose from 11 percent in 2008 to 21 percent in 2012, officials said.
A survey released by the Society for Human Resource Management at its annual conference and exposition in Atlanta found the percentage of employers offering health and lifestyle coaching jumped from 33 percent in 2008 to 45 percent in 2012 and rewards or bonuses for completing a health and wellness program increased from 23 percent in 2008 to 35 percent in this year.
"Organizations continue to look for ways to manage costs as the economy slowly improves," Mark J. Schmit, vice president of research at Society for Human Resource Management, said in a statement.
In addition, the survey found employers offering discounts for not using tobacco products increased to 20 percent this year from 8 percent in 2008.
The survey of 550 randomly selected human resource professionals found the most common benefits in 2012 were: 97 percent provided paid holidays; 97 percent provided prescription drug program coverage; 96 percent provided dental insurance; 92 percent provided defined contribution retirement -- 401 K -- savings plans and 91 percent provided mail-order prescription programs.
Eighty-three percent of the surveyed organizations used preferred-provider organizations -- managed care, 70 percent offered medical flexible spending accounts, 44 percent provided healthcare premium flexible spending accounts, 43 percent offered health savings accounts, 32 percent used health maintenance organizations, 24 percent provided retiree healthcare coverage, 23 percent offered point of service plans -- managed care with primary care physician, 22 percent offered health reimbursement arrangements. Some of these plans can be used in conjunction with one another.