Employers are looking for ways to save on healthcare costs – and wellness programs look incredibly promising. Get the facts, and find out if wellness programs could be saving you money.
What is wellness?
Wellness is that buzzword that you might hear a lot but are not entirely sure what it means. What is it exactly, and does a wellness program actually work? Simply put, wellness is about reaching optimal physical, mental and/or emotional wellbeing. Employer-sponsored wellness programs aim to achieve this goal workplace. While in the early days these programs primarily focused on healthier choices, today’s wellness programs take a comprehensive approach that’s achieving real results.
From telemedicine to social sharing platforms, wellness programs are becoming mobile, relevant, and engaging. Nearly two-thirds of Americans are in favor of using smartphones to track health and look up health information. It’s become easier than ever to monitor health and track progress. Employers are leveraging this digital trend and bringing it to the workplace. By fostering a more connected and robust wellness program, employees can take actionable and measurable steps toward better health – together.
Sounds great...but does wellness help employers save money?
Workplace wellness programs aim to increase awareness and equip employees to make health-conscious choices. And while a more educated and engaged employee is a great thing, do these programs really bring hard dollar savings for the employer?
According to Rand Corp, wellness programs provide an overall return-on-investment of $1.50 for every dollar invested. The return for disease management was $3.80. So in order to truly reap the rewards, employers must invest in prevention and intervention.
While wellness programs are beneficial, it’s important to realize that a program does not a strategy make. Some of the most innovative, self-funded companies are pairing workplace wellness with chronic disease management and on-site/near-site clinics. By removing barriers to access and care, and establishing a clear path for prevention and recovery, employees can experience a dramatic improvement in health and employers can benefit from significantly lower healthcare costs per employee.
So, do wellness programs save employers money? In short, yes. And while there is tangible evidence of savings associated with wellness programs, the intangible benefits are just as fruitful. It’s no secret that healthier employees are happier employees; and happier employees are more engaged at work.
Behind some of the most profitable companies is an engaged workforce. Wellness programs are just a small part in an even larger healthcare savings ecosystem. Comprehensive programs anchored by an on-site or near-site clinic can set the foundation for long-term healthcare savings.
So while wellness programs are not a silver bullet, they can be a catalyst to launch and sustain a culture of wellness.