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Health Improvements Could Save Texas Billions: Report

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If wellness programs were implemented for state employees, Medicaid recipients and private businesses, Texas could see a net gain in economic activity of billions of dollars and thousands of jobs, a new study maintains.

A comprehensive package of prevention, wellness and smoking-cessation programs for state employees would provide $338.5 million in fiscal revenues over 2 years and about 2,500 jobs, according to the study, which was sponsored by the Texas Coalition for Worksite Wellness, Austin.

If provided to Medicaid recipients in Texas, such a program could add more than $2.7 billion in annual spending to the state economy, generate more than $2.5 billion in fiscal revenues over 2 years and provide more than 20,000 additional permanent jobs, according to the report, “An Ounce of Prevention,” written by economist Ray Perryman of the Perryman Group.

If all private-sector employers currently providing insurance coverage offered wellness programs to their employees, they would see net additions to business activity of more than $8.1 billion in annual expenditures for other priorities and create more than 42,000 additional jobs, the report estimates.