About Wellness Corporate Solutions

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Case to be Made for Bringing Employee Wellness Programs Home

Dynamic Dies partnered with employees and spouses to save one million dollars in healthcare costs while increasing employee benefits. The kicker, they only have 170 employees, 132 of whom participate in the health insurance program. To summarize, Dynamic Dies saw renewal increases of 15% in 2001 and 23% in 2002. Fast forward four years later and they were spending less on medical claims than in 2002. They had experienced no increase in monthly premiums for 4 years and actually gave back one month of premiums to employees 2 years in a row, all while improving medical coverage and saving $1 million. Okay, I am impressed. They did it by partnering with their employees and spouses to communicate information about health care costs as well as wellness, and expecting their employees to partner back.

As obesity rates amongst children increase and the healthcare costs associated with childhood obesity increase,it makes sense for employers should look beyond the employee to engage the whole family in making healthy lifestyle choices. There is a disconnect between children's actual health risks and the way their parents perceive their health risks. According to a study by the University of Michigan referenced in the New York Times, only 13% of parents of obese children ages 6-11, and 31% of parents of obese children ages 12-17 think their child is very overweight. The health risks of overweight children are myriad, and clearly contribute to the healthcare cost burden faced by the employer.

Again, education and health promotion are tools that can be used to turn the tide.

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