Pay Employees for Healthy Habits. When Safeway CEO Steve Burd discovered that 70 percent of health care costs are linked to unhealthy habits, he created incentives that sent his employees scrambling for the produce aisle. “No one quarrels with the fact that if you have three speeding tickets a year, you’re a higher risk and should pay more for auto insurance,” says the 58-year-old fitness buff. “Our new plan encourages employees to live healthier, and if they don’t, then they bear some of the costs.” Perks include lower premiums for those who lose weight or quit smoking, free or cheap gym memberships, and a $1,000 health care reimbursement check to encourage cheaper choices like generics over name-brand drugs.

The payoff: The company’s new plan has saved 13 percent so far, and employees who’ve signed up have saved 20 to 30 percent on their premiums. If other companies followed Safeway’s lead, the country could save $600 billion to $800 billion.

The action plan: Watch a video of Steve Burd at


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