LEVERAGING WELLNESS cost savings obtained through healthier employees
|Many employers are looking for ways to save money on ever increasing medical insurance cost. One direct way to improve your future cost position would be by "Leveraging Wellness" through a new robust program that is results driven. Most employers currently have available a no cost "Wellness program" through their current insurance carriers website. Ask yourself this question: How many of your employees are "healthier" today from the free web portal program your carrier provided you last year? Unfortunately, these free type programs offer no health coaching, financial reward incentives or reportable features. Because they don't report findings nor allow employer groups access to any of the collected information means this no cost solution is an inadequate resource for any "leveraging wellness strategy" that ultimately and effectively improves employee behavior. With any results driven reportable Wellness program, you'll get what you pay for-- RESULTS you can track! Serious structured Wellness programs follow two basic steps in methodology:
First - initiate a Wellness Portal that covered members access which collects, tracks, and manages employee involvement. This includes employee health assessments and biometric data results. Please note that due to HIPAA, it is at the discretion of each employee to release results from all medical testing and biometrics to the Wellness program. Employers cannot force employee compliance. However, employers can leverage contribution, based on participation in a program that requires testing results for credit.
Second - Once member issues are identified, a robust Wellness program targets those members with appropriate actions so covered employees and/or dependents know what they need to do to correct them.
When Employers have access to a robust Wellness Program, they can incentivize employee participation in many unique ways. Most employers consider leveraging employee cost based on participation in the wellness program. As employers, we can't force employees to participate, however we can incentivize them with various benefit rate structures built around non discriminatory criteria of engaging our program that financially rewards them to do so.
Employee participation in our program is critical to its success, so our strategy is to incentivize employees financially who participate. At open enrollment, employees are given 90 days to engage the program to pay less.
Example - NON WELLNESS RATES Employee Only = $50.00 Bi-weekly
WITH WELLNESS RATES Employee Only = $40.00 Bi-weekly
WITH WELLNESS & TEST NEG FOR NICOTINE RATES Employee Only = $30.00 Bi-weekly
Results Based Rewards can be integrated to incentivize employees to meet specific wellness goals when they participate.
Example---Employers provide gifts, like movie tickets, restaurant vouchers, etc. as a goal reward.
Finally, it should be noted that any robust Wellness Program will cost money to set up and maintain. Employers who engage these programs pay now for cost saving results later. Self Funded employer groups typically always spend dollars on Wellness programs because improving employee health directly affects first dollar claims that they share in. Motivation for fully insured groups is different because they don't share immediately in savings from the program with first dollar claims, however having a robust reportable program does allow leveraging of employer cost contribution subject to each employees participation in the program.