The Value-Added Health Benefit You Should Provide
Of all the U.S.-based firms with over 50 employees, 95.7% offer health insurance. Then there are the typical health benefits companies provide, things such as emergency services, hospitalization coverage, and maternity care. But there is another important and helpful health benefit your company can and should be providing: corporate wellness programs.
Health insurance has numerous important benefits, but providing a corporate wellness program can be a great complement to your existing health care benefits.
Corporate Wellness: A Nice Complement
Most large companies have already hopped aboard the wellness program train, with the majority of companies with 1,000 or more employees offering a wellness program.
A study of wellness programs found that in large companies, the average employee medical cost dropped $3.27 for every dollar spent on wellness programs. Costs for the days employees were absent also fell, at an average of $2.73. In fact, workplace health promotion programs have the potential overall to reduce average worker health costs by 18%.
Even though you may already offer solid health care benefits, it is still costly when your employees get sick, whether from insurance costs or from lost productivity. When employees are enjoying good health you are enjoying the fruit of their labor because healthy employees don’t need as many sick days. For employees who eat well and exercise regularly, absenteeism is 27% lower.
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Corporate Wellness: An Alternative Benefit
It is fairly easy for large businesses to complement their established health care benefits with corporate wellness programs, but what about the smaller to medium sized businesses? In fact, wellness programs may provide an even bigger benefit to smaller companies who can use them to supplement the extensive health care packages they may not be able to provide.
While smaller companies may not have the resources to develop and operate their own wellness plan, they can, however, outsource their wellness programs to companies such as Vector Talent. Small companies already sometimes struggle to compete with the benefits offered by large companies, but wellness programs provide great benefits and helpful savings, with the same great results: healthier employees who need fewer sick days, are more engaged, and cost the company less.
Traditional health benefits are typically reactive – they are in place for times of sickness and injury. But corporate wellness programs are initiatives that help prevent a lot of the things that require health benefits in the first place. Wellness programs are proactive rather than reactive.
When employees are able to stay healthy through exercise and nutrition programs, the chances of them getting sick or injured drop, and with them, the chances of having to use any of the reactive health benefits. A corporate wellness plan goes a long way towards preventing sickness, injury, negative health conditions, and lost productivity.
Emphasizing the importance of overall health, exercise, nutrition etc. keeps your employees out of the doctor’s office. Especially if you go further and provide the means for employees to stay healthy: such as fitness programs, incentive-based health goals, or even simply gym memberships.
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Technically you could even hire one person to be a wellness director and have them set up an internal program that rewards employees for using it! One salary is way cheaper than paying an entire slew of healthcare costs for employees.
Corporate Wellness: A Win-Win
So whether you are able to provide full benefits or not, corporate wellness programs are a health benefit on their own.
Is it worth it? Absolutely. 61% of employers say employees’ health habits are a top challenge to controlling healthcare costs. Out of control healthcare costs have the potential to do serious damage to the financial stability of your company. But you can curb healthcare costs from the start if you have healthy employees. Healthy employees are engaged employees, and your initiative can be the deciding factor in the health of your workforce, who may not otherwise have access (or motivation) to get in shape, eat well, and manage their health.