By Daryl Zernick, Onsite Health LLC
Not discovering the hidden and not addressing the known health care needs of your employee population before they turn into claims will cost your company significant amounts of money. This is why you need a best-in-class wellness partner and program regardless if your company is fully or self-insured.
Fully Insured Employers
Traditionally, those companies that are fully-insured tend to give less weight to wellness programs because, after all, the company's employee health care claims are covered by its insurance carrier. Unfortunately, this attitude towards wellness is causing company's insurance renewal rates to skyrocket. An insurance carrier's primary basis for an employer's annual renewal rate is based upon claims data. Higher claims guarantee higher renewal rates. Great news for your brokers wallet, bad news for your bottom-line.
Self-insured employers are directly paying health care claims, thus making the employer responsible for mitigating health risks associated with unhealthy employees. These employers, more so than the fully-insured employers, feel the pain each and every month in paying the claims of their unhealthy employees. In our experience, these employers are much more receptive to performance oriented wellness vendors and programs. Most design their benefits around a workplace culture of health, knowing they are paying the price for unhealthy behavior.
The Best-In-Class Wellness Program
Core to an extremely effective employee wellness program should be a process for uncovering and understanding the overall health of your employee population coupled with a program that engages and incents unhealthy employees to become healthier. How and who is following up with your employees to affect change is crucial. As you can see in the adjacent graphic, face-to-face coaching is the absolute best delivery method. Now you just need to make sure you have the best delivery person facing your employee.
Key to the entire program will be that face-to-face coach. Consider the credentials of those providing the follow-up. Someone who has only completed a 6 week course in nutrition versus a Registered Nurse, for instance, will equal much different results not only in the credibility and believability of the information being delivered, but also in the discovery and processing of all possible elements contributing to the health of your employee by the assessment of visual cues, knowledge of family history, current meds, and lifestyle to name but a few.
Finally, your wellness vendor should present you with solutions that can save your company money immediately, if not, move on to the next candidate!
It makes sense to take the bull by the horns. Not doing so is simply leaving a big pile of money on the table each and every year and that's just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Insurance renewals included, best performing companies that have taken an aggressive approach to employee health care costs, including methods of containment that are mentioned herein, have only averaged a 1.6% increase year-over-year in health care costs during the last 4 years. If you are not on that track, look to a well-designed wellness program and effective wellness partner to get you on that track. In addition, an effective wellness program will strengthen your employee benefits portfolio and give you an edge as you compete to attract and retain talent.