Businesses can cut worksite health care costs by implementing an employee wellness program and by having an effective communications program to spur employee participation.
That’s a key finding of a new white paper, “Well on the Way: Engaging Employees in Workplace Wellness,” released by Colonial Life & Accident Insurance Company, Columbia, S.C. The study uses proprietary and industry research and case studies to show how wellness initiatives can help employers control rising health care and benefits costs, and how benefits communication render the programs more effective.
The white paper indicates that “clear communication of program benefits and incentives for participation” by employees is a key first step in insuring the effectiveness of a wellness program. The paper cites a recent Colonial Life survey, which found that nearly 10% of employees reported having little or no understanding of their benefits packages. And slightly more than half of the employees whose employers offered wellness programs said they were only somewhat or not at all knowledgeable about them.
Lack of knowledge about the programs, the paper adds, is significantly higher among younger workers, less educated workers and those with lower household incomes.