It is estimated that 70 to 90 percent of health care expenses are preventable.¹ Many of these preventable costs are because people make unhealthy choices and take unnecessary risks with their health. Research shows that the cost of poor health, including group health coverage, and certain productivity related costs (turnover, unscheduled absence, non-occupational disability, and workers compensation) average almost $16,00 0 per employee.²
This means that promoting healthier lifestyles and behavior change by investing in a wellness program can improve the overall performance of your company’s bottom line.
In fact, many employers can expect a $1 to $3 return on investment for preventive services and health promotion.³
Many large employers have embraced wellness and prevention as a central part of their approach to healthcare
We have found that modest investments in workplace wellness programs result in significant savings. With numerous studies documenting the specific outcomes of workplace wellness programs, now more than ever, it’s an ideal time to incorporate workplace wellness programs as a primary health care cost-containment strategy.
The 2010 DPL & A study showed that firms with more than 250 employees are more than six times as likely to provide health risk assessment, weight control, disease management or smoking cessation programs than firms with fewer than 250 employees. Bigger businesses have more resources, are often self-funded in their health insurance and have the ability to analyze these programs’ performance, vary premiums based on employee participation in wellness-oriented programs and directly measure their return on investment.
Smaller firms – especially those with fewer than 100 employees – do not have the same resources, time or flexibility with their health plans. Less than one in five offer smoking-cessation help, despite proven savings and health benefits.
Businesses in general need help to get these valuable programs started to control their health-care costs and improve the health of their employees. To help you connect the dots, we’ve provided a toolkit that offers a resource directory so employers know where to go for even more help to improve wellness in their workplaces.
The toughest part of implementing a wellness program is taking the first step. Health Gauge is here to help! Download our Toolkit HG Healthy Worksites to get started today!
¹ Health Care Statistics www.preventdisease.com, 2006.
² Ron Goetzel, Ph.D., Director of Cornell Institute for Health and Productivity Studies.
³ Healthcare Cost Trends for 2008, Pricewaterhouse Coopers, 2008.