According to the 2014 study by the National Business Group on Health, among employers offering incentives, the large majority use rewards to promote program participation, program completion and health outcomes. Penalties (i.e.,disincentives) are used less often. When used, disincentives are most frequently used for tobacco use or refusal to participate in tobacco cessation programs.
Nearly 80% of employers who offer incentives for awareness-building activities (e.g., health assessment completion, biometrics) provide rewards for completing activities; only 5% rely solely on penalties for these activities. The remaining 16% use a combination of rewards/penalties. Likewise, only 3% of those employers who offer incentives for taking certain actions (e.g., participating in a weight management or fitness program) structure their incentive solely as a penalty. By 2014, 36% of employers are planning to use penalties.