There are many efforts to motivate people to take better care of themselves. For example, some businesses offer exercise and other programs geared to a healthy lifestyle. Do we have any evidence these programs work?
- the Affordable Care Act provided incentives for wellness programs, and so since 2010 participation has tripled to 30 million workers
- goal is to motivate participants to improve their lifestyles so as to lead to lower health care costs
- but based on the results from one of the first studies of these programs – using programs in Illinois – the evaluation is not optimistic
- study found that after one year in the program, participants and non-participants had similar medical expenses
- in fact, the study found the program created some resentments among workers, as participants in the wellness programs were paid to join
- caution – only one study for one year, so need more analysis