Employers betting on wellness programs seem to be making the right call. They’re seeing $1 to $3 decreases in their overall health care costs for every dollar spent, finds a report from the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans.
“Without question, employers are beginning to understand the direct connection that wellness initiatives can have on both employee health and health care plan cost savings,” says Michael Wilson, Foundation CEO. “While the primary goal is reducing health costs, we’re also seeing other advantages from wellness initiatives, such as higher employee morale, increased productivity and reduced disability.”
The report also finds that wellness program incentives — such as insurance premium reductions and communications tools like web links and social networks — are used more by organizations that are achieving positive returns on their wellness investment.
Still, only 19 percent of organizations are measuring return on ROI on wellness programs, Wilson says.
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IFEBP divided the respondents of the survey into two groups, the ROI group and the non-ROI group based on whether they measured and achieved positive returns.
Insurance premium reductions for participation in wellness programs accounted for the biggest difference between the two groups, with 49 percent of the ROI group providing this incentive as opposed to just 29 percent of the non-ROI group.