Wellness Programs Can Be Provided By Employers As A Service Under Discretionary Benefits

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Wellness programs can be provided by employers as a service under discretionary benefits. Employers began implementing wellness programs to promote and maintain employees’ physical and psychological health in the 1980s (Martocchio, 2014). There are several different wellness programs that companies may provide to their employees such as stress reduction, nutrition and weight loss, exercise and fitness activities, and health-screening programs (Martocchio, 2014). According to the survey conducted by the Rand Corporation on behalf of the U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, currently 80 percent of employers offer nutrition and weight activities, 72 percent offer exercise and fitness programs, 77…show more content…
Benefits of Wellness Programs for Employers Wellness programs can provide substantial benefits for employers by improving employees’ health thus lowering health care costs, reducing absenteeism, achieving higher productivity, reducing workers’ compensation and disability-related costs (Baicker et al., 2010). According to the study by the American Journal of Health Promotion in 2011, employers who offer wellness programs to their employees have paid 15 percent less for their health care costs than employers who have not (Hochart & Lang, 2011). Moreover, based on the review of 72 studies published in the American Journal of Health Promotion, return of investment (ROI) for companies who sponsor wellness programs is $3.48 per $1 when considering health care costs, $5.82 when examining absenteeism and $4.30 when both health care costs and absenteeism are considered (Mattke et al., 2012). Furthermore, according to this review, the company with the highest performing wellness program reported an average cost savings of $565 per employee in 2013. The results also demonstrated that for every dollar spent on employee wellness programs, medical costs fell by $3.27 for companies (Schmidt, 2012). Also, according to the Wellness Council of America, by implementing wellness programs, companies reduce sick-leave absenteeism by an average of 26.8 percent; reduce health care costs by 26 percent and reduce worker’s compensation and disability management claims costs by 32
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