Recently some employers have tried other more punitive methods to lower their health care costs. Some hospitals will not hire anyone who smokes. CVS pharmacies have created controversy by requiring their employees to enroll in a program that measures their height, weight and blood assessments or pay $50 a month more for their health insurance. Mayor Bloomberg in New York has taken heat by trying to restrict the size of sugary drinks and requiring restaurants to eliminate trans fats in cooking.
The approach that caught my attention recently was a partnership between HumanaVitality insurance company and Wal Mart that provides 5% cash back for HumanVitality members who buy certain healthy foods like fruits and vegetables at Wal Mart grocery stores. Having been in some Wal Mart grocery sections I am not sure they are the best store for healthy eating choices. This American effort comes after studies of cash back programs in South Africa that show that even small incentives can get people to eat healthier foods.