A you may know, the state of Maryland is creating a program offering affordable insurance to small businesses. One requirement: That the insurance plans include wellness programs.
Committees have been hammering away at what exactly constitutes a "wellness program" under this plan. Language used has included “a health risk assessment with written recommendations to reduce risk, and a financial incentive to promote preventive care, healthy behavior or disease management.”
Details aren't known yet.
According to an article in the Baltimore Business Journal, the plan includes government subsidies of up to 50 percent of health insurance premiums for workers making less than $50,000 a year for some 1,500 businesses. It's expected to cover approximately 10,000 previously-uninsured individuals.
Due to budget shortfalls, that's half the size of the program as it was originally planned.
Enrollment for the program begins in September, with coverage slated to begin in October.
This is exciting stuff: Our home turf of Maryland can really become a testing ground for the ability of wellness programs to have an impact on small business insurance costs.
We're expecting plenty of Maryland small businesses to need advice on developing those wellness plans once they're defined. We'll be watching, and report what we learn here.
Here's what we've written previously about the Maryland wellness program mandate.
Or if you need some guidance now, we're happy to provide it.