Wellness Program

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Wellness Program on a Budget
Lisa Moody
Strayer University

Wellness Program on a Budget
Wellness programs encourage employees to lead more healthy lifestyles. Often wellness programs include activities such as smoking cessation classes, diet and nutrition counseling, exercise and physical fitness centers and programs, and health education. Lowering future health care costs and a positive ROI can be achieved through wellness programs. In order for a wellness program to be successful, the program needs to be cost effective for both the employer and employee.

Medical claims from participants of wellness programs to the claims from risk-matched non-participants defined the savings of the initiative. The ROI compared savings with costs and identified the return on investment within an average range of $1.19 to $2.52 saved per dollar spent on each participant. This result is positive, as it confirms that wellness programs contribute to bottom-line results even when controlling for the selection bias. This evidence may help HR practitioners position wellness as a strategic priority in their organizations’ agendas (Naydeck, 2008).

Many employers also share programs to educate employees about healthcare costs and how to reduce them. Newsletters, formal classes, and many other approaches are all designed to help employees understand why health-care costs are increasing and what they can do to control them. Some employers even are offering financial incentives to improve health habits. These programs reward employees who stop smoking, lose weight, and participate in exercise programs, among other activities.

Employers’ desires to improve productivity, decrease absenteeism, and control health-care costs have come together in the “wellness” movement. Wellness programs are designed to maintain or improve employee health before problems arise - be proactive. Wellness programs encourage self-directed...
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