The facts are clear, health care costs are rising. Deductibles, premiums, and prescription costs are increasing at a rapid rate, with no indicators of stabilization in sight. According to Kaiser data available, in 2008 the average employer-sponsored family health insurance plan cost $12,680 but had risen by 43% to $18,142 annually by 2016. From small businesses to global corporations, everyone is feeling the pinch. As companies experiment with ways to cut health related expenses and maintain quality for their employees, all signs point to corporate wellness programs. Also known as workplace health or employee wellness programs, a structured and engaging corporate wellness program can yield countless tangible and intangible benefits for your company and employees alike. Understanding the benefits of these programs can help you decide whether investing in such a program would be the right tool for your company’s bottom line.
The CDC defines a workplace health program as a coordinated and comprehensive set of health promotion and protection strategies implemented at the worksite that includes programs, policies, benefits, environmental supports, and links to the surrounding community designed to encourage the health and safety of all employees. Simply stated, it is an employer’s approach to improving employee health and wellness. These programs are tailor-made to fit the needs of your workforce and designed with specific goals in mind (e.g. health education, preventative health, physical activity, etc.).
There is no right way “to do”a wellness program. A successful program will require an investment of dedicated manpower, time and in some cases money, but the return in one your company can afford to miss.
Lower health care costs
Yep, straight to your sweet spot, the money. Implementing a strong corporate wellness program can yield savings for your company in both the short and long term. Wellness programs typically lead to healthier employees, who usually need less health care. Healthy employees often file fewer health and disability claims, which can mean lower premiums for your company. These programs have proven so effective in lowering costs that many health care solutions now have them integrated into plans. Healthy Benefits Lifestyle Health Plans are a great example. These savings often extend down to the employees, through lower health insurance premiums, and decreased out-of-pocket medical expenditures.
Team building opportunity
Implementing an engaging corporate wellness program offers a unique opportunity to interject camaraderie into your corporate culture. A successful program requires a community effort. As staff work to achieve their individual goals together, and the company fosters an environment conducive to success, strong community building will ultimately be the result. The energy harnessed to rally around corporate wellness goals will spill over into other areas, to the company’s benefit.
Wellness programs can significantly reduce absenteeism. Employees who participate in such programs, especially the ones with a group exercise component, often see the social engagement as another work incentive. Companies save, paying for fewer sick days while enjoying an increased work output. Injecting wellness into your corporate culture can have a positive ripple effect.
In today’s economy, companies must be proactive in reducing expenditures, and health care is no exception. At Healthy Benefits we teach our clients that the key to unlocking lower corporate health care costs lies in the improved health and wellness of its members. Implementing a corporate wellness program is an investment in your company’s future, and one your business can not afford to miss.