Slate has a good article on how “wellness” programs aren’t. There’s good details on why they tend not to actually improve health. But the money quote is:
Under the ACA, wellness programs are a legal way to shift a significant portion of the cost of premiums onto employees deemed unhealthy. Wellness programs don’t save money by preventing expensive medical claims—and in fact, they might even increase claims costs due to encouraging unnecessary doctors’ visits. But wellness programs can save money if enough employees fail them or opt out.
I’m glad my current employer isn’t doing this sort of thing. I hope it stays that way.