Due to changes brought about by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), wellness incentives are receiving the spotlight in the HR industry. What is your wellness incentives IQ? Take our quiz below and find out! 


Are You a Genius? Take our Wellness Incentives IQ Quiz

Due to changes brought about by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), wellness incentives are receiving the spotlight in the HR industry. What is your wellness incentives IQ? Take our quiz below and find out!

Question #1: Wellness Incentives Parameters

On Jan. 1, the ACA changed wellness incentive regulations. Under the newly-enacted provision, companies can now offer wellness incentives that are what percent of the total cost of employee-only health coverage?

A. 15%                C. 45%  
B. 30%                D. 60%


Answer: B

Under the ACA, wellness incentive limits increased from 20% to 30% of the total cost of employee-only health coverage. This new maximum for wellness incentive spending is based on the total amount that both the employer and employee contribute for individuals’ benefit option. For smoking cessation programs, these incentives can reach 50%.

Question #2: Participation vs. Health-Contingent Programs

True or False: The ACA incentive restrictions apply to both participation and health-contingent programs.


Answer: False

The ACA restrictions on wellness incentives only apply to health-contingent programs, which are programs that offer rewards for those that achieve specific health behaviors, such as quitting smoking. Participatory programs, like attending a lunch and learn session, are available to all participants regardless of their health status and are not restricted by the ACA provision.

Question #3: Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic Incentives

What type of incentives have the greatest impact on motivating employees to change their behavior?

A. Intrinsic Incentives              B. Extrinsic Incentives    
C. A Combination of Intrinsic and Extrinsic Incentives


Answer: C

Intrinsic incentives focus on the self motivation that comes from within each individual, and extrinsic incentives are motivators from external sources. Both of these rewards types play a unique role in motivating employees. The extrinsic approach is ideal for sparking immediate change. However, since individuals may revert to old behaviors once the incentive disappears, this approach is not sustainable. Intrinsic incentives, on the other hand, change behavior more slowly but the impact is more likely to be long-term.

Research shows that the best incentive strategies use a mixture of both intrinsic and extrinsic motivators. Extrinsic rewards are often first used to spur employees to make initial behavioral changes with the hope that over time intrinsic motivation will take over.

Question #4: Wellness Incentives Budget

What percent of a wellness budget should be devoted to incentives?

A. 0%                        C. 16%-30%
B. 5-15%                D. More than 30%           


Answer: D

A successful wellness program should allocate 1/3 of its budget to wellness incentives. The rewards offered to employees should be strategic, simple and strive to encourage a specific health outcome. To have the maximum influence on wellness program participation, Cerner wellness recommends that organizations offer incentives that are $25-$200 in value.

Question #5: Wellness Incentive Success

Which of the following tactics are keys to wellness incentives success?

A. Executive and Manager Support                                                 C. Customization to Employee Culture   
B. Alignment of Wellness and Organizational Goals              D. All of the Above


Answer: D

The three main tactics below are key to generating wellness program success:

  1. Gain Executive & Manager Support – Leaders’ participation and support of a wellness program communicates to employees the importance and value of the initiative.
  2. Customize to Employee Culture – Use employees’ current perception of wellness programs to create a program that generates genuine employee excitement and interest. Ensure that incentives are meaningful to participants.
  3. Align Wellness and Organizational Goals – Be sureyour wellness program contributes to the organization’s strategic goals. For example, if your company has a goal to increase engagement, then the wellness program and corresponding incentives should contribute to that goal.

What is your wellness incentive IQ?

Regardless of whether you got one or all of the questions correct, your wellness incentive knowledge will be key to helping your organization create a culture of wellness.

“A well planned and executed wellness program, like the one offered through Ceridian LifeWorks, has the power to positively impact employees’ health and the organization as a whole. A culture of wellness has a profound impact on employee well-being, which positively influences productivity, absenteeism and health care costs,” said Nichole Keltgen, Wellness & Health Coaching Services Delivery Manager at Ceridian LifeWorks.


For more information:

  • Watch Ceridian’s Wellness Incentives Webinar Link needed
  • View our Wellness Strategies Infographic
  • Learn more about Ceridian LifeWorks