Aetna pays employees up to $500 per year for sleeping

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What if your job paid you to sleep? Health insurer Aetna is doing just that, according to CNBC.

CEO Mark Bertolini, who considers sleep incredibly important, created a program in 2015 that seeks to persuade employees to get more sleep.

Through the program, Aetna employees track their sleep using various devices, including Fitbits. When they sleep seven or more hours each night for 20 nights in a row, Aetna will give them $25 per night. The maximum employees can earn is $500 a year.

"Being present in the workplace and making better decisions has a lot to do with our business fundamentals," Mr. Bertolini said, according to the report. "You can't be prepared if you're half-asleep."

Does getting more sleep make employees better workers? Aetna tested out its theory by asking Durham, N.C.-based Duke University to evaluate its wellness program, which also includes yoga and meditation initiatives. The study found there were "69 minutes more a month of [worker] productivity on the part of [Aetna] just investing in wellness and mindfulness," Mr. Bertolini said, according to the report.

The insurer's CEO added that Aetna's wellness program and investment in employees could also ultimately boost revenue.

As Aetna seeks to acquire Humana, some are left wondering what Humana is doing for the wellbeing of its employees. The Louisville, Ky.-based insurer's wellness rewards program, Humana Vitality, was launched in 2011, according to Louisville Business First. The program gives employees gift cards, fitness equipment and other prizes for making healthy decisions. When Humana tested the program on 8,000 employees, it found participants had fewer sick hours at work, lower health insurance claims costs and less emergency room visits.

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