The Value of Health-Plan-Sponsored Wellness Programs
Presented by Health New England
By Katie Bruno
Health plan sponsored wellness programs – designed to help employees become more active, eat healthier, and take better care of their bodies — are not simply the right thing to do; they can also help companies save on health care costs.
It’s a simple fact that when people feel great, they are at their best. And that’s why, when it comes to wellness programs, there is, to borrow a term from the business world, measurable ROI (return on investment.)
Improvements in health can be seen in the results of biometric screenings, including measures like blood pressure, body mass index and cholesterol levels. For employers this translates to improvement in everything from absenteeism and productivity to overall company morale.
To be effective, though, these plans must be properly planned and administered. Businesses of all sizes need to really partner with their health plan as they consider offering a wellness program, when to undertake such an initiative, and, most importantly, how.
For many years now, Health New England has been that partner, providing needed direction on how to blueprint and administer a plan; how to set goals — for the program and individual participants; how to keep a program on track; and how to raise the bar when necessary.
Health New England provides a wide range of programs and specific benefits to address the wellness of its members and their families — at every stage of their lives. Our programs are free-of-charge for employer groups and are structured as follows:
• Basic wellness plan benefits, including an annual preventive well-visit; a yearly $150 wellness/fitness reimbursement; nutritional counseling with a certified nutritionist; and free help to quit smoking through Health New England’s smoking-cessation program;
• An Enhanced Healthy Choices Rewards Program that rewards members for being proactive about their health. Employers can opt-in to this free program, designed to help members gain a better understanding of their health and learn ways to better manage it. By completing a few simple health activities during the year, members can earn points toward raffle drawings; and
• A Customized Health Directions Employer Worksite Wellness Program, designed for those who want to partner more closely with Health New England. Companies and their employees receive an onsite kick-off event, including biometric screenings; various health activities, fitness challenges, educational seminars and webinars; access to the Healthy Directions web portal; and access to raffle drawings.
Health New England partners with employers and their employees to design wellness programs with a focus on goal setting, physical activity, healthy eating and preventative care. They can also help design incentive programs to reinforce health and wellness efforts.
Wellness programs are not just the right things for a company to do. They are very good for business. And Health New England can help make them part of your business.
Katie Bruno is manager of Health Management Programs for Health New England.