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Making Workplace Wellness Benefits Work for Everyone

By Tracey Lewis | Aug 23, 2017

While funds may offer wellness benefits that have all the bells and whistles, members may be blissfully unaware or even wary of participating. According to a study reported on by Plansponsor.com, overcoming these barriers is worth the investment from benefits administrators because wellness program participants are more likely to report increased personal satisfaction with their health and, consequently, decreased health care spending, which is a major plus for members and the fund. Identifying those barriers is the first step in this process.

Wellness Benefits See Barriers

Organizations typically offer wellness programs related to weight loss, smoking cessation and lifestyle coaching, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF). Successful workplace wellness programs offer a mix of incentives tied to health outcomes, financial incentives or even paid time off to complete health risk assessments and enroll in other wellness programs, as noted in a KFF Employer Health Benefits survey.

However, the most cited reasons for not participating in workplace wellness programs was workplace culture, inconvenience and being unaware their jobs even offered a program, according to Harvard Business Review.

Funds Overcome Obstacles

Healthfitness.com urged reaching members where they are rather than expecting them to discover the offerings on their own. Funds must take a multi-pronged approach to creating and implementing wellness programs.

By creating a workplace culture of health and wellness from management to members, funds are more likely to successfully implement and execute their programs. Offering on-site health fairs and events centered around healthy living can shape behaviors. Additionally, offering mobile apps or online wellness programs to complement the on-site programs can effectively and efficiently reach members.

Wellness Programs Improve ROI

When a program is poorly planned and executed, the fund is more likely to see increased health care costs. According to health care software company Springbuk, benefits administrators can see improved ROI with a robust wellness program. With a well-designed and implemented program, the fund is better positioned to negotiate reduced premiums and other discounts because you can show reduced risk with those participating members.

Creating a wellness benefit program complete with incentivized offerings and online support will benefit the fund and your members, even beyond the workplace. Because members spend nearly one-third of their time at work, the fund is uniquely situated to help improve the lives of members, and in a way, create a healthier America.

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