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Employers offer carrots, wave sticks to get workers healthier

Miami Herald, December 5, 2011

For a decade, Baptist Health South Florida has been a leader in urging its 13,000 employees to lead healthier lifestyles?offering such benefits as free 24/7 gyms at work and discounted low-fat meals in the cafeterias. When it came to choosing the carrot or the stick for promoting wellness and reducing skyrocketing healthcare costs, Baptist has offered the carrot. Many major employers are making similar moves elsewhere in South Florida and around the country. But now Baptist and others say those efforts may not be enough because healthcare costs have continued to rise. That has prompted some companies across the country to reach for the stick?for example, finding ways for employees with unhealthy habits to pay more for insurance.