Incentives for healthy behavior have become a critical tool for employers to address rising health care costs. According to a 2015 study from the National Business Group on Health and Fidelity Benefits, jumbo employers spent an average of $878 per employee on heath incentives, an increase from $717 per employee in 2014.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act provision that increased the amount of allowable incentives from 30 percent (and in the case of 50 percent in the case of smoking cessation) of annual premium was welcomed by employers and opened the door to greater creativity in the use of incentives. The Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC) saw things differently.

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