A Look At Wellness Programs

Members exercise at the Maryland Athletic Club and Wellness Center in Timonium, Md.,

Wellness is now corporate America's new strategy for controlling health care costs. In exchange for getting fit, you may earn a discount on your health insurance premium or receive another form of incentive.

Why Do Companies Offer Wellness Incentives?

Wellness programs may save companies money. Studies show $3 in health care savings for every for every $1 spent on wellness.

What Is "Wellness?"

According to the University of California at Berkeley, wellness is about achieving optimal physical, mental, and emotional well-being, a preventive way of living that may reduce or eliminate the need for remedies.

Which Insurance Companies Offer Incentives?

Among some of the companies offering incentives are: Horizon/Blue Cross: "Health Rewards," WellPoint: "360 Degrees", Humana: "Virgin Life Care", Pacific/United "Health Credits," Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Vermont "Blues Extras".

You can also get wellness incentives from some of the nation's biggest health insurers, including Wellpoint and United Health's PacifiCare and Horizon Blue Cross.

To Learn More About Wellness Program:

• The Wellness Council of America and the National Wellness Institute has additional resources.

• For tips on staying healthy, go to Wellness.com.