Average healthcare costs will increase 8.9 percent in 2011 compared to an average increase of 7 percent in 2010. These statistics come from a recent survey by the National Business Group on Health, a non-profit association of large employers.
One key strategy to help curtail the ever-rising costs related to employee healthcare is wellness programs. Offering a comprehensive program has shown to lower costs. But, for a wellness program to be effective, you need employee participation.
In another survey, this one by RedBrick Health, three essential elements geared toward enhancing employee participation in wellness incentive programs are: setting program goals, rewarding employees for reaching those goals, and using independent health and wellness vendor.
According to the RedBrick survey, “Employers that set measureable program engagement goals experienced 63 percent higher engagement rates.” Along with this, “employers that provided incentives in any amount experienced average engagement rates nearly 107 percent higher than those employers that did not provide any incentive.” And finally, employers that took advantage of wellness experts saw an increase in participation rates of 83 percent across core programs, compared to “employers relying on health plans as their primary health and wellness partner.”
Basing company decisions on studies and surveys such as this, more and more businesses owners are jumping on the corporate wellness program bandwagon. These programs are an effective strategy to keep employees healthy, productivity up, and reduce healthcare costs.