South Carolina public employees who shape up could get a break in their health insurance premiums under an idea given tentative approval Tuesday.
The Senate approved a measure directing the state agency that oversees employees' health insurance to develop the incentive plan for employees and their spouses and implement it by Jan. 1. Premium reductions or other incentives would be tied to participation in programs that promote fitness.
"It's the carrot instead of the stick approach," said Sen. Greg Ryberg, R-Aiken. "This incentivizes people to live healthier lifestyles."
That could include promoting health club memberships, he said.
In 2009, Ryberg proposed charging obese workers an extra $25 monthly on their premiums, with the surcharge tied to body mass index - a height and weight measurement. But that bill died, with senators saying the idea was too difficult to administer and enforce.