SOUTHFIELD, Mich. – Some U.S. companies are trying to control employee ailments like high blood pressure in order to curb skyrocketing health-insurance costs.
"If you're going to get health care costs under control, you've got to do whatever you can to get healthier employees," said Joe DeSantis, spokesman for the American Society of Employers.
Click on the video box to the right for a report by FOX News' Steve Brown.
In an effort to keep insurance costs down, some companies are trying to reward employees for living healthier lifestyles by giving the highlest levels of insurance to people who stay in shape, eat well, and don’t smoke.
"The incentive is, they get to stay in the premium plan. It's no different than car insurance. If you've got lots of points on your record, you have lots of accidents, you're going to pay more," said Dan Clinton, vice president of TI Automotive.
TI Automotive has made working out part of the average workday. Three times a week, the employees chip in to take part in personal training sessions. Other companies are addressing the health problems of their employees though dis-incentives.
After banning smoking on the premises, Weyco Inc. stopped hiring smokers altogether and conducts random testing for tobacco.
While some may see this practice as invasive, Howard Weyers of Weyco Inc. said it's a better option than letting health care costs go ignored.
PepsiCo (PEP) and American Standard Cos. (ASD) have also started programs that encourage employees with poor health to clean up their acts; 16 percent of PepsiCo. employees are currently working with a diet and exercise coach, reports BusinessWeek.com.
While helping employees shape up may seem like huge undertaking, employers simply can't afford the alternative of succumbing to high health-care costs.