IBM's plan to save by upping workers' health care could inspire copycats

As health care costs continue to rise, many corporations are passing the increases onto workers through higher health insurance premiums. One of the notable exceptions is IBM (IBM), which last week decided it could save money by actually taking the opposite tack.

The computer services giant says it will now pay for 100 percent of the primary health care coverage of its U.S. employees. Big Blue's move -- spending more upfront to prevent disease to be able to spend less on more costly disease treatment down the road -- may influence more companies to do the same, no matter what is ultimately decided in the health care reform debate on Capital Hill.