Wellness is a major factor in today’s employee benefits market. Nefouse & Associates understands why businesses feel wellness must be addressed. At a company level, wellness programs are an investment in the health and well-being of the employee. And healthy employees can lead to lower costs for the organization.
Wellness can be defined in several ways but the most prominent focus for businesses is wellness coaching. Wellness coaching is a tool for companies to engage employees in, in living a healthier lifestyle. Coaches should establish a close partnership with the individual employee. Also, it is paramount that the health coach truly cares about coaching each employee. The coach provides structure, expertise, and inspiration, which helps the individual to become healthier and live a higher quality of life.
Employers have a number of options when it comes to selecting a company wellness program. Not surprisingly, cost is a significant factor. Most insurance companies offer a wellness program with coaches at little or no cost, sometimes referred to as template programs. For a company without the budget for a full wellness program, these programs are an excellent place to start. Nefouse & Associates introduces these insurance carrier-sponsored plans to our clients and ensures the providers do their part.
Another option is a fully customized wellness program. Nefouse & Associates can recommend organizations that provide these choices. We are not compensated for the wellness programs we recommend. Our goal is to make sure that wellness vendors bring the most competitive priced program to the table.
The ever rising costs of employer sponsored group health insurance have driven more companies to elect high deductible health plans along with goal driven wellness programs. Under these types of wellness programs employee’s can reduce their out of pocket costs by meeting reasonable health goals.
Goal driven wellness programs work best when the program is to alter employee’s unhealthy lifestyle. An example of this would be to help employee’s quit smoking. Where they can have great results is if an employee is suffering from multiple conditions. High Cholesterol, High blood pressure, and Obesity could be a direct result of a un healthy lifestyle depending on the individual. So to educate an employee how they can change their life style to help treat these conditions can have a huge impact on cost to the employee in the form of claims. The wellness programs can even address issues like stress management or how to buy and prepare health foods at a reasonable cost.
The first step is an employee/insured should complete a Health Assessment form. We are seeing these more and more in an online format. After completing the assessment form you will be given information on what you might be high risk for. Some of these programs even address the issue if you drive too fast as it may be linked to stress. With that high risk information you could have access to a disease management program or health coach. In some programs the health coach will help you establish and work towards your health goals.
Once you have entered the disease management side of the program you will be educated on what conditions you are high risk for. The education can include treatments and prevention. There might be 10 drugs out in the market place that can treat that condition and it’s important that you know about the different options. One of those options might cost you a lot less and treat the condition.
The best way to reduce your out of pocket expenses is to actively live a healthy life style and the wellness programs that are being developed today can help you meet those goals.