Lee County, FL School System Shows Savings from Wellness Program

by: Nichole Gunn March 22, 2011

Lee County, Florida has a very effective wellness program. The program is so effective that participating employees saved the county's school system $1 million in healthcare costs last year.

Offering services such as flu shots, exercise routines, and even health screening for school district employees, the program is comprehensive and shows great potential.

With only 10 to 15 percent of the 10,000 staff members enrolled in the volunteer-based program, the potential, if officials can encourage more employees to participate, can be significant.

In a Fort Myers News Press release, Employee Wellness Coordinator Lisa Brown explained, "If we can encourage people to use their health plan wisely, be responsible for their personal health and make smart choices, it will have an impact on claims.” That in turn will have a positive impact on the bottom line.

The report compared claims submitted by participating employees against claims submitted by non-participating employees and the results showed a $1,200 difference – the participating employees’ claims were less expensive. Due to the results, “BlueCross BlueShield of Florida announced it will increase its plans by a much smaller margin than the previous year.”

Success stories such as Lee County’s indicate the benefits and potential of effective and comprehensive wellness programs. Many companies are stepping forward to take advantage of the healthcare savings these programs offer.