According to the 2013 Wellness and Benefits Administration Benchmarking Study conducted by SourceMedia, publishers of Employee Benefits News, an increasing number of companies see Wellness Programs as a cost-efficient way to realize long-term employee health care savings.
Biometric testing with an incentive program attached emerged as the foundation of most wellness programs. 77% of large employers said they have biometric testing, such as stress levels, cholesterol levels, blood pressure, body-fat level, nutrition analysis, compared to 61% last year.
While the dollar value of wellness incentives continue to increase, the long-term benefits of reduced employee health care costs and increased production far outweigh the outlay. More than half of large employers, 54%, are reporting that they spend more than $250 per employee annually on wellness incentives compared to 49% in 2012.
Health insurance premium adjustments are the most common incentive payment mechanism. Most large employers, (64%, up from 59% in 2012), use premium discounts or surcharges to motivate employees to participate in the company wellness program.
Employee buy-in is key. With all the discussion going on surrounding Health Care Reform, it is a good time to dovetail this topic with a Wellness Program that empowers employees to permanently transition to consumer-driven health care, and realize incentives to do so.
Your year-end resolution is to:
1) Start a wellness program
2) Get employees to participate
3) Get employees to make participation a lifestyle
Change is tough – but something’s got to change to curb spiraling health care costs. The hope is that once the dust settles on the Affordable Care Act, it will help. Being a change agent in improving employee health long-term is an even bolder step in the right direction. Imagine. If the majority of your employees were healthy, you could get your focus back on being productive and doing business.
The study was commissioned by bswift and conducted online in March 2013 among 380 benefit decision makers at organizations that offer health benefits. Respondents were required to be employed at an organization with 50 or more employees and have responsibility in HR/benefits/insurance designing benefit plans and selecting benefit carriers. The respondents were divided into two groups: large employers with more than 500 benefit-eligible employees and smaller employers with 50 to 500 benefit-eligible employees. Data reported within this paper will primarily focus on large employers, unless otherwise specified.