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Posts Tagged ‘wellness’

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…

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…

When pandemic strikes: does your company have an action plan?

October 17, 2014 Leave a comment

hazmatFollowing reports of the first Ebola transmissions on U.S. soil, the threat of the disease continues to escalate across the world. The Ebola outbreak is only the latest version of potential worldwide pandemics with serious economic impacts affecting supply chain and business operations for companies of all types. Industries like mining, agriculture and energy face the greatest risks with Ebola, since these groups have a high number of operation bases and workers in the affected nations. However, companies that do not operate in Africa may also experience business interruptions when employee access to the workplace is compromised.

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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…

Massachusetts Wellness Tax Credit for small employers

kates blogThe financial savings of a wellness program have long been debated between Human Resource and Finance professionals. Large employers, those with 100 or more employees enrolled on their medical plan, have the ability to monitor claims and thus view any improvement in claims.  Therefore, large employers have been more likely to institute a wellness plan since they are able to track the potential impact of a wellness program on their population’s health. Even still, this argument is often not concrete enough to convince large employers to spend the money required to see meaningful improvements in employee health.

Convincing smaller employers to institute wellness programs has been even more difficult. Since small employers are often partially community-rated and do not generally have access to claim data, Read more…