Employee wellness best practices: Offset the rise in health care costs

Health care costs are projected to rise more than 10 percent next year, according to a survey of insurers by Aon Consulting Worldwide.

While the double-digit rise may seem large, it’s actually the smallest increase Aon has seen in the past six years, hinting that employee wellness programs may be paying off.

If you want to offset the rise in health care costs, business should spend more money on employee wellness programs, according to a Workforce Management article from earlier this year. Health care industry experts suggest that companies that have implemented wellness programs have seen lower health care costs.
“CFOs have always viewed health care as an expense, but rarely as an investment” said Jerry Ripperger, director of consumer health at the Principal Financial Group. “But improving the health of your employee base, rather than simply providing reimbursements, is an exercise in risk management with a true ROI.”

Companies that have implemented employee wellness programs have seen an average reduction of $2.45 in medical claims for every dollar spent developing the program, according to a recent Principal study. Most companies started seeing results after about 18 months and the longer a wellness program is in place, the more health care costs can be reduced, according to Ripperger.

The Wellness Council of America, an organization devoted to employee wellness programs, has developed seven employee wellness best practices. To develop and maintain a program in your workplace, follow “The Seven C’s” for success:
  1. Capturing CEO Suport
  2. Creating Cohesive Wellness Teams
  3. Collecting Data To Drive Health Efforts
  4. Carefully Crafting An Operating Plan
  5. Choosing Appropriate Interventions
  6. Creating A Supportive Environment
  7. Carefully Evaluating Outcomes
Download a free copy of WELCOA’s Seven Benchmarks of results-oriented workplace wellness programs.

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