As an employer under the ACA regulations, your company covers at least 60% of all employee health expenses.
This is normal and something that the company can allot a budget for. But there's also no denying that any way to reduce your costs of employee healthcare without reducing the level of coverage would be a good thing. But how? The answer is enjoyably simple: Corporate Wellness. Employee health is more than just something to be encouraged because wellness is good or because a healthy team is more productive. Employees who benefit from wellness programs also result in lower annual insurance costs.
The equation is simple. If the employer pays a percentage of all services covered by health insurance, the cost would be less if employees needed those services less frequently. Healthier employees need fewer visits to the doctor, fewer tests, and fewer prescription medicines covered by insurance.
You could easily chart it on a graph. As your company's workforce becomes healthier, they make fewer micro-claims on the company insurance policy. This reduces the team's medical spending, which makes that 60% a much lighter financial weight on the budget. Not to mention, fewer claims and a healthier team may also result in lower monthly premiums to maintain employee healthcare coverage.
Of course, employees don't magically become healthier just because you want them to or ask them to. If you want to see results, a corporate wellness program is the next logical step. The best corporate wellness programs are not just one or two measures but create an inclusive work environment that promotes health, exercise, and support.
One of the easiest places to start is with healthy foods. While you can't stop your employees from grabbing a burger or ordering a pizza, you can provide them with healthy alternatives tasty enough to be tempting. Start catering lunches or build a partnership with nearby restaurants for discounts on healthy lunches ordered by employees. Make it easy, communal, and delicious to enjoy healthy foods packed with nutrients.
Oh, and if you have a snack machine, start stocking it with things like trail mix, low-salt jerky, and dried fruit instead of just chips and candy bars.
Exercise is an essential part of improving one's overall health. Just walking ten extra minutes a day can reduce the risk of diabetes, heart disease, weight problems, and orthopedic deterioration. Start finding supportive (not competitive) ways to encourage your staff to exercise and offering incentives for those who choose to exercise. Remember not to be exclusive for disabled employees or those who can't do specific activities.
When employees team up to do healthy things, the culture of being healthy will spread and maintain more reliably than a brief office fad. Encourage your employees if they want to form a team that walks around the office building at lunch-time, or who all try standing desks or exercise intervals together. One team or twenty in your workforce trying healthy things can work wonders in promoting health in the workplace.
Finally, help your company culture to change. Start building the foundation of a health-supportive attitude.
Use social fitness platforms, where employees can share their exercise and hydration routines and get congratulations from coworkers. Encourage and congratulate team members for their health efforts during morning meetings. Adapt your company culture to be one that supports healthy lifestyles diversely and inclusively.
As your company culture and the healthy habits of your employees change, you will start also to see a change in how your company's health insurance is used. Employees who start walking regularly, eating better, and reducing stress through workplace support will also need fewer medical services. Even a few chronic conditions will lessen in severity when you are helping employees take better care of themselves and encouraging them to stay on their personal treatment plans.
Corporate wellness is designed not just to counteract the negative effects of a sedentary office lifestyle. The right program and company culture can promote a healthy lifestyle that many employees would not put together on their own. You will see the results in your health insurance bottom line and employees will feel the results in their bodies, attitudes, and job satisfaction.
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