The Law, Policy, and Ethics of Employers' Use of Financial Incentives to Improve Health

Posted: 13 Sep 2011 Last revised: 10 Dec 2011

See all articles by Kristin M. Madison

Kristin M. Madison

Northeastern University - School of Law; Northeastern University - Bouvé College of Health Sciences

Kevin Volpp

University of Pennsylvania

Scott D. Halpern

University of Pennsylvania - Perelman School of Medicine

Date Written: September 1, 2011

Abstract

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) turns to a nontraditional mechanism to improve public health: employer-provided financial incentives for healthy behaviors. Critics raise questions about incentive programs' effectiveness, employer involvement, and potential discrimination. We support incentive program development despite these concerns. The ACA sets the stage for a broad-based research and implementation agenda through which we can learn to structure incentive programs to not only promote public health but also address prevalent concerns.

Keywords: Financial incentives, employer-provided insurance, bioethics, health, healthy behaviors, obesity, smoking, biometric, HIPAA, ACA, Safeway Amendment

JEL Classification: L12, I18, K32

Suggested Citation

Madison, Kristin M. and Volpp, Kevin and Halpern, Scott D., The Law, Policy, and Ethics of Employers' Use of Financial Incentives to Improve Health (September 1, 2011). Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics, Vol. 39, No. 3, pp. 450-468, Fall 2011; Northeastern University School of Law Research Paper No. 55-2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1926238

Kristin M. Madison (Contact Author)

Northeastern University - School of Law; Northeastern University - Bouvé College of Health Sciences ( email )

416 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
United States

Kevin Volpp

University of Pennsylvania ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

Scott D. Halpern

University of Pennsylvania - Perelman School of Medicine ( email )

423 Guardian Drive
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

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