GROUP WELLNESS PLANS
Promote Employee Wellness and Increase Your Bottom Line!
Wellness programs have become common in the workplace. A 2014 Kaiser Family Foundation survey found that among large employers offering health benefits, just over half offered an opportunity to complete a health risk assessment (HRA), a questionnaire that is often a gateway for the provision of health risk information and other wellness program components (Exhibit 12.8 in the Kaiser survey). A similar fraction offered biometric screenings (Exhibit 12.1), such as tests for cholesterol or blood pressure, or measurement of body mass index. Some screening programs test for cotinine, which is associated with nicotine exposure.
Some wellness programs offer financial incentives such as premium adjustments or gift cards. The 2014 survey found that more than half of large employers using HRAs provide incentives for their completion, and more than a third of these incentives equaled or exceeded $500 (Exhibit 12.10). A federally commissioned report prepared by RAND suggests that incentives are effective in increasing HRA completion.
Employers may use incentives in other ways as well. About 12 percent of large firms reported tying incentives to wellness program completion (Exhibit 12.7), while about 8 percent of large firms with biometric screening programs reported tying incentives to biometric outcomes, not including smoking (Exhibit 12.12). Studies have shown that appropriately structured incentives can influence health behaviors, but high-quality evidence on the impact of employer wellness incentives is in short supply.
Below are a list of advantages of implementing a wellness plan for employees
- Bio-metric screening aimed at improving health and reducing claims of your most at risk employees
- Education and preventative medicine such as flu shots, mammograms, and more
- Onsite, offsite or virtual physical fitness & nutritional classes
- Discounts to gym memberships and other wellness subscriptions
- Smoking cessation programs
- Financial counseling
- Mental health and substance abuse programs
- And more
Wellness Plan Advantages
- Reduced claims
- Lower premiums
- Lower healthcare costs for both employer and employee
- Healthier employee population
- Improved morale, loyalty and productivity
- Attract and retain top employees