Penske Automotive Group Inc. knows the value of a healthy work force and how beneficial a yearly checkup can be.
So in 2017, it offered an incentive to its 16,000 U.S. employees: Get a physical and save $900 a year on health insurance premiums.
"We know that when you see a doctor, eye to eye every year, it has an impact," Bud Denker, executive vice president of human resources for Penske Automotive, told Automotive News.
The incentive worked. FromJune 1, 2017, to May 31, 2018, the Bloomfield Hills, Mich., company went from 25 percent of U.S. employees getting physicals to 84 percent, which Denker described as "amazing." This year, the nation's No. 2 auto retailer expanded the $75-a-month rebate program, rolling out the offer to employees' spouses or partners.
Penske isn't alone among the large public auto retailers working to help employees lead healthier lives — and financially rewarding them for their efforts.
AutoNation Inc., Asbury Automotive Group Inc. and CarMax confirmed they provide credits toward health insurance premiums for participating in biometric health screenings, which measure things such as blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels, and other programs. And Lithia Motors Inc. of Medford, Ore., for four years has offered employees and their spouses $200 cash bonuses for getting annual physicals.
"We've had people that have caught problems, early stages of cancer, issues of diabetes," Penske's Denker said. "We've found people who've caught those things early, and that's going to help them. But it's also going to help us in terms of keeping them healthy and keeping them productive, but also lowering our cost."