New rules proposed last week by the Department of Health & Human Services give employers greater flexibility to help employees quit smoking. The total incentive an employer can offer for tobacco cessation has jumped to 50% of the total cost of health coverage, up from 20%.

“What they’ve done is very positive from an employer vantage point,” says Amy Bergner, managing director, PricewaterhouseCoopers human resource solutions health care practice. “It gives this higher amount and greater latitude to design a tobacco [cessation] program.”

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