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Posts Tagged ‘health and wellness programs’

Mental health care in the workplace & how employers can help

emp_talkingIn the wake of the devastating tragedy in the French Alps this month where one man’s struggle with depression brought down a 144-passenger Germanwings plane, concerns and questions arise across all industries about measures companies can take to manage the mental health of their employees. In situations where the employee’s mental instability threatens the safety of others, as in the Lufthansa crash, the employer could face unlimited liability.

According to research by All One Health, in any given year, nearly 30 million American adults suffer from depression and twice that many from anxiety disorders. These numbers are costing U.S. employers billions of dollars per year in lost productivity. Read more…

Wellness programs in the workplace and the elements of their success

March 12, 2015 Leave a comment

appleNearly 95 percent of large US companies offer workplace wellness programs with a focus on improving health among a population. Today, most wellness programs focus on improving health engagement among a population. For example, employees can submit to a biometric screening and in turn pay less for health insurance. Or, attend a seminar and receive points towards rewards. The key to a program’s success is a focus on employee engagement rather than return on investment, laying the foundation for a long-term wellness approach sustained through interest and participation.
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Sitting less – the low cost wellness tactic

January 21, 2015 Leave a comment

standing_deskWe’ve all heard that ‘sitting is the new smoking’ and our lack of physical activity during the work week is one of the contributing factors to many Americans being overweight or obese. For most of us, we’re in a routine of sitting the majority of our day: at a desk, or in a cubicle during work, followed by the car or train on the commute home before heading over to the sofa to unwind once there. Our society is in the midst of an obesity crisis, affecting everything from medical costs to health insurance premiums, and in some cases making small adjustments to this daily routine can be part of the solution.
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EEOC sues Honeywell for ACA approved wellness plan

steth_jogCompanies across the country are struggling to afford the rising cost of healthcare for their employees. Charges for medical services are still increasing, utilization is up, Obamacare layered in a 3%-5% increase in fees and taxes, and our employees are getting older and less healthy. With little hope on the horizon for external or systemic cost controls, corporations are looking inward, designing plans that promote and encourage wellness, healthy living, and most importantly, clinical engagement of their employees. Read more…

2015 Compliance To-Do’s: Is your checklist ready?

October 15, 2014 Leave a comment

aca_magnifying_glassAs 2014 winds down, employers are longing for a reprieve in benefits compliance after having to endure a year of new, often times complex, guidance related to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), HIPAA and same-sex spouses. Unfortunately, to-do lists are only going to get longer as employers review their plans and get ready for the approaching challenges and deadlines arising in the upcoming year. Below is a summary of three main compliance issues for employers to keep on their regulatory checklists in the coming year. Read more…

Wellness plan compliance: Test your knowledge

August 20, 2014 Leave a comment

wellness_quizWhether it’s a free gym membership or free healthy lunches, corporate wellness programs continue to expand as employers focus on reducing employees’ health risks by improving their lifestyle and behavior. An increasing amount of employers are opting for incentive-driven plans offering financial rewards or better health plan options to employees who participate in program activities, such as weight-loss challenges and healthy eating seminars. Rather than creating programs that are strictly educational, incentive-based wellness programs tend to help increase employee motivation to participate in activities and make changes to their behavior. According to Optum Inc.’s 2014 Wellness in the Workplace Survey, over 40% of various sized employers said they now offer financial incentives that are tied to measurable improvements in employees’ health outcomes, (i.e. weight loss, reduced cholesterol, quitting smoking). In addition, nearly 50% have incorporated non-participation penalties Read more…