Friday, September 14, 2012

Survey Finds that Wellness Programs Provide Savings for Employers

Employers who have analyzed the financial impact of their wellness programs have discovered overall positive results. According to the report titled, A Closer Look: Wellness ROI by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, most of these employers reported $1 to $3 decreases in their overall health care costs for every dollar spent. The report surveyed organizations that have analyzed the financial impacts of their wellness programs and compared the answers of those who attained a positive return on their investment (ROIs) and those who did not (non ROIs).

“Without question, employers are beginning to understand the direct connection that wellness initiatives can have on both employee health and health care plan cost savings,” said Michael Wilson, Foundation CEO. “While the primary goal is reducing health costs, we’re also seeing other advantages from wellness initiatives, such as higher employee morale, increased productivity and reduced disability.”

The report also found that wellness program incentives and communications tools are used more by ROI organizations than non ROI employers. ROI organizations were much more likely (40% to 29%) to provide insurance premium reductions for participation in wellness programs, as well as incentives for participating in health screenings (65% to 43%), health risk assessments (74% to 51%) and for accessing health care coaches/advocates (43% to 22%). 

Employers credited communication as an important tool in achieving ROI. These organizations were more likely to provide wellness information and electronic communications through web links, social networks and wellness seminars and speakers as compared to their non-ROI counterparts. 

Overall, almost 74% of organizations experiencing ROI had a broader value-based health care strategy that included incentives for employee participation in health screenings, stress management programs, health risk assessments, and fitness and nutrition programs.


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