Employers may experience higher costs and introduce Wellness programs

Employers may experience higher costs and introduce Wellness programs

With the passage of the Obama Health Reform two things are likely to occur: (1) most employers expect their health costs to rise due to PPACA; and (2) efforts to contain those costs will center largely on investment in programs for employee health and wellness, including both preventive services and disease management.

The February edition of the journal Health Affairs says:

“Amid soaring health spending, there is growing interest in workplace disease prevention and wellness programs to improve health and lower costs. In a critical meta-analysis of the literature on costs and savings associated with such programs, we found that medical costs fall by about $3.27 for every dollar spent on wellness programs and that absenteeism costs fall by about $2.73 for every dollar spent.

“Although further exploration of the mechanisms at work and broader applicability of the findings is needed, this return on investment suggests that the wider adoption of such programs could prove beneficial for budgets and productivity as well as health outcomes.”

As an insurance consultant for over 25 years, I am prepared to health my clients develop ongoing wellness programs for their workforce.  Engaging the employees to lead healthier lifestyles will result in lower health care costs.  Safeway with 200,000 employees engineered a wellness program years ago that has resulted in four years without any additional cost to the employer or employees where other companies experienced a 38% increase.