IBM Employees Earn Cash Rebates for Participating in Wellness Programs

June 13, 2009

IBM is rewarding participation in its wellness programs for US employees and dependents with cash. In October, the company added a fourth cash rebate worth $150 to its healthy living programs, first introduced in 2004. The Children's Health Rebate is designed to address the significant increase in obesity rates among children. Other $150 cash wellness incentive programs focus on healthy eating and weight loss, exercise, and smoking cessation. Employees can choose any 2 rebates to receive $300 in cash per year.

IBM is rewarding participation in its wellness programs for US employees and dependents with cash. In October, the company added a fourth cash rebate worth $150 to its healthy living programs, first introduced in 2004. The Children's Health Rebate is designed to address the significant increase in obesity rates among children. Other $150 cash wellness incentive programs focus on healthy eating and weight loss, exercise, and smoking cessation. Employees can choose any 2 rebates to receive $300 in cash per year.

To qualify for the rebate, employees use an interactive online tool to manage their family's eating and exercise habits with self-paced tracking plans that can be securely accessed only by the employee's family. The program does not include weight-loss targets or exercise requirements. Instead, it suggests practical family-oriented activities, such as preparing dinner together and taking walks. After taking an inventory of their eating and activity habits, families set goals to build on their healthy habits and maintain a daily diary for 12 weeks using the Web site's "healthy lifestyle planner." At the end of the 12 weeks, families complete a brief online evaluation of their progress.

The Children's Health Rebate program offers participants a wide range of educational resources, such as sample menus, the nutritional value of popular foods, and exercise suggestions. Employees also receive a copy of the book, Family Power: 5 Simple Rules for a Healthy-Weight Home, by Karen Miller-Kovach, chief scientific officer and vice president of program development at Weight Watchers International.