About Wellness Corporate Solutions

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Economic Woes = More Wellness Investments?

With the economy so weak, the era of sky-high raises and obscene bonuses may be over. But according to Marketplace Money, most companies aren’t scaling back benefits programs overall.

Instead, they’re investing more in “soft” benefits like gym memberships and. . . employee wellness programs, which as we know can cut health care costs in the long run.

The piece quotes Jill Berger, HR benefits manager for Marriott Corporation, which used to take a more old-school approach to health care:
”We used to charge a co-pay for preventive care. In fact, years ago, we didn't even cover preventive care. Now we see the importance of not only covering it, but making it free, because that will keep them out of the hospital.”
Doug Layman, executive VP of Gilsbar, which manages health care plans for 250 employers, also discussed his company’s wellness offerings, and their enviable ROI:
“Our health plan costs are 6 percent lower than they were five years ago. Our prescription drug costs, which everybody complains about, is 45 percent lower than they were five years ago. And 85 percent say their benefits package is better today than it was five years ago. Yet we're paying less, and we have happier, more productive people.”

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