Small employers – with fewer than 100 employees who work 25 or more hours per week – are eligible for workplace wellness grants when they provide a comprehensive workplace wellness program for all employees. And larger employers also can help save their employees money
While Annual health insurance premium rate increases may seem inevitable, and removal of payers' ability to deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions seem to spell doom to the idea of ever getting premiums under control, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) includes workplace wellness incentives to help steer your workforce towards health while reducing your premiums.
Small employers -- with fewer than 100 employees, working 25 or more hours per week -- are eligible for workplace wellness grants when they provide a comprehensive workplace wellness program for all employees. And larger employers can also help save their employees money (up to 30 percent of the cost of the employee's premium) through these programs, as well.
There are so many options to qualify for a small-business wellness grant. Of course, the workplace wellness program must reduce chronic-disease rates, address health disparities, and develop a stronger evidence base of effective prevention programming. This can be accomplished through strategies such as employee education,
smoking-cessation challenges, diet and exercise challenges, and other tactics that help promote
employee wellness. Use your imagination!
New businesses are flooding in that aim to help employers fulfill these requirements.
“For some time now, I think the big health insurance providers have realized that it’s more economical to pay for health coaching than to pay for medical care,” explains Stan Reents, PharmD, president and chief executive officer of AthleteInMe.com. The former health care worker turned health coach provides educational talks in the Phoenix area for such insurance carriers as Blue Cross Blue Shield.
...the workplace wellness program must reduce chronic-disease rates, address health disparities, and develop a stronger evidence base of effective prevention programming...
Reents also works directly with large employers to create wellness programs for their employees. In one company, an annual weight-loss competition is held and he helps by providing one-on-one health coaching with staff members.
“Every year, they get a large grant to put on corporate wellness programs,” he says, which
helps pay for his services. Reents sees health coaching as the missing link in the health care team.
“So much chronic disease in adults is due to lifestyle,” he notes, “The average visit in a primary care office is about 15 minutes; they don’t have time to talk to somebody about exercise and diabetes or
exercise and heart disease.”
Reents cautions that employers hiring coaches need to seek out those certified through credible institutions, such as the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSP).
Technology is also creating wellness opportunities. Russell Benaroya is the chief executive officer of EveryMove, an app that allows users to accrue points for activities, tracking steps and check-ins at healthy venues or events (like gyms or races). Users can swap the points for rewards that will net them
anything from designer jeans to workout supplements – or even the ability to contribute to a
“It’s incredibly important to the employer that they’re fashioning perks that are fun and
engaging, and that create a healthy, more productive workplace,” he notes.
"We’re moving toward programs to meet the employee where they are in their life and finding solutions that are consumer-driven."
Sounds like the right direction.
Source: BenefitsPro "Other Ways to Make Wellness Work" captured 5-7-14
Rylan Klaseen & Associates
Rylan Klaseen & Associates
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