Obesity and smoking are two major drivers of health insurance premiums in the United States. Finding a way to mitigate or address them would result in thousands of dollars saved each year. This is precisely what a growing number of companies are trying to do in the country by teaming up with wellness services. Employers are taking measures to encourage their workers to take part in wellness programs, and pledging rewards to those who accept to try to adopt a healthier lifestyle. This article explains how wellness programs can help to lower your health care costs.
The Affordable Care Act is now in effect
As you might know, Obamacare went into full force on January 1st for all companies featuring fewer than 100 full-time personnel. Although it was severely criticized by employers, it’s still a legislation by which all concerned entities must abide. Many companies are still struggling to juggle with the repercussions of this law on their profits, and intending to pay the excise tax rather than providing coverage to all their workers. Yet, this isn’t the optimal solution since Obamacare can have greater financial implications on the companies that opt out than on those that embrace it. The optimal solution is the adoption of wellness programs.
Wellness programs are the way to go...
If your employees get healthier, they’ll cut:
- The number of costly visits to the doctor’s office
- The quantity of medications purchased
- The likelihood that they might be hospitalized
- The number of sick days they use and miss work
Because of all these, your employees will see their life expectancy increase, which means that they’ll be able to remain in the job market longer and earn more money. It's a win-win-win trifecta!
How to encourage employee participation?
As mentioned earlier, you need to develop a rewards program for the participants. One great example would be to redistribute to your workers a portion of the savings generated via the lower insurance costs paid to the company’s insurer. Insurers view wellness programs as contributors to good health, and are willing to charge less for their coverage costs as a result. At the end of the year, a participating worker will end up with several hundreds of dollars extra on their annual income.
Please contact us for more information on how to offer incentive programs that ultimately help you save money on health care costs.