Healthier employees, lower health care costs?

Story about companies that charge employees more or penalize them for health risks makes an interesting companion to Grant Gallicho's post about the uninsured.

So far, companies that tie wages to health improvements focus on conditions that can be managed to some extent--smoking, obesity and high cholesterol. At least one company is no longer hiring employees who use tobacco, in states where not hiring them is legal.

What the story doesn't say is whether the programs have been successful at holding or improving health insurance costs for employers. Nor does it say how successful those wellness programs are. Are employees getting healthier in those company gyms?

Anyone have experiences with employee wellness programs? Thoughts on where this all might be headed?

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