Employers are looking to control the ever increasing rise in employee health care costs. One of the more effective approaches has been to provide incentives to employees to adopt healthy behaviors. For example, at the corporate cafeteria you may be able to order whatever you want for lunch, but that Cesar Salad will come with a 35% discount while you’ll be paying full price for a cheese burger. These actions are delivering results, but obviously are limited to what an employee buys while on the corporate campus. It would seem equally obvious that employers will want to also encourage healthy behaviors (e.g., eating habits) at home.
And look who’s stepping up to bat, grocery store chain, Winn-Dixie. Last week the company announced that it will allow customers to use their HSA (health savings account) or FSA (flexible spending account) to purchase specially labeled health and wellness products at their stores.
What was odd about the announcement from Winn-Dixie though was that they focused on their ability to provide this service to customers “in these challenging economic times.” Would have thought a better message would have been one focused on health and how they are helping their customers and customers’ employers in adopting healthy behaviors. Heck, they probably could have even obtained a quote from a leading CEO on why this move by Winn-Dixie is good for customers, employers and the nation.
A missed opportunity. Maybe the next grocery chain to offer a similar service will think more broadly and capture the opportunity.