Save on Healthcare: Employers Unite!
Free gym memberships, yoga classes, time off to achieve work-life balance. To a small business owner struggling to pay the bills, these kinds of employee perks can seem like pie-in-the-sky ideas. That is not the case. Consistent and plentiful research reveals, however, that wellness programs improve the bottom line.
In one of the only long-term studies of its kind, researches followed the wellness efforts of a Midwest utility company over the course of nine years. While the company spent $7.3 million for the program, it ultimately saved $12.1 million in medical and pharmacy costs, employee time off, and worker’s compensation costs.
The findings are good news for companies looking to implement wellness programs, said Dee Edington, director of the University of Michigan Health Management Research Center and the study’s principal researcher.
“One of the advantages of the study is it shows that a sustainable program will give you savings,” said Edington.
Slowly, companies are realizing that healthcare insurance plans, aimed at helping the unwell, should also include wellness plans to keep healthy workers healthy, Edington said. While wellness plans remain largely the domain of large companies, they are growing among medium-sized companies,” she said.
Included in a plan for physical activity programs and team-building challenges should be a way to maintain participation and validate that participation. We at HCD have spent a tremendous amount of time and effort researching software companies that have solutions for employers. There are turn-key and blissfully affordable options for companies of all sizes. For the best economies of scale, small business owners can form a consortium, within a local Chamber of Commerce, for instance, and acquire amazing solutions for engagement, validation and amdinistration. Let us help you on every aspect of cost savings and ROI for wellness participation programs.
Companies both big and small provide their employees with wellness programs. These built-in programs often include online risk assessments, on-site screening and health coaching programs. These systems can motivate employees and employers to initiate behavioral changes to help everyone in the company achieve a more physically fit lifestyle. The positive impact doesn’t end with the employee.
Done well, the physical activity and wellness benefits impact the entire family – saving even more in the long run.