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How To Reduce Group Health Benefit Expense With Wellness Program

By May 23, 2012 February 19th, 2015 No Comments

Fitness girlHealth plan costs have soared and with an ever increasing reliance upon computers a sedentary workforce may be making poor health decisions.  Group health benefit programs are expensive and one way companies are starting to control costs and increase job satisfaction is to offer a “wellness program” to employees.

Having a healthier workforce may result in more productive associates, less time off, and greater job satisfaction. More and more companies are considering adding a wellness program to their employee benefit package.

More studies are showing a corelation between a sedentary lifestyle and deblitating illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes and obesity.  Offering programs to get employees moving can improve health and can improve mood because endorphins are released during exercise.

Exercise also increases the flow of blood to the brain and vital organs.  Taking a break to take a walk may be just the ticket to getting creative juices flowing, or clearing the mind of over think.  And that afternoon sugary snack can be replaced with a short, brisk walk, resulting in greater mental clarity, weight loss and better health instead of a sugar high followed by a sluggish low.

Businesses can help their employees embark on a plan to improve health.  A study has shown that there are some distinct strategies to improve and influence employee engagement in a wellness initiative, including:

  • Offering financial incentives
  • Using penalties to discourage certain behaviors
  • Offering incentives for hitting goals (such as weight loss)
  • Offering nonfinancial incentives (giveaways or recognition)

When starting a wellness initiative, it’s important to first determine what the goals of the program should be, then create an incentive campaign to support these goals.  Having frequent checks and balances to reward employees is helpful, as are clear checkpoint dates.

Having a healthier workforce is part encouragement, part motivation and part reward, and the benefits are a  happier and more productive team.

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