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Employee wellness plans are becoming some of the most sought after types of Ohio employee benefits. These plans, often put in place alongside health insurance coverage, encourage employees to live a healthier life. The University of Michigan studied one such program over a nine-year period. Researchers found that the wellness program saved the company $4.8 million in employee health benefits as well as lost work time in that period. There's definitely a benefit in offering such a program.

What are the benefits? Consider the following to determine if this program could affect your business' bottom line and employee satisfaction.

#1 - Cost Savings

Some insurance providers reduce the upfront cost of health insurance if the employer agrees to encourage (or in some cases mandate) wellness programs within the company. This may be a percentage discount, for example, on the total cost of the health insurance package. Just by getting employees involved, it's possible to save money.

#2 - Health Benefits to Employees

Healthy employees are those that do not call off or miss long periods of work due to health factors. For example, employees who are fit rather than overweight are less likely to suffer complications to their health in the long run. This benefits the employee, of course, but also the employer. He or she is less likely to need to replace ill employees or pay overtime to others.

#3 - Employees Receive Access to Assessment Tools

Many employees skip doctor's appointments or physicals because they don't want to foot the bill for this type of care. Many times, this cost saving method on the employee's behalf means health conditions are undiagnosed until they become severe. However, with a wellness program in place, employees have access to screenings, blood tests, weight monitoring and other services that the wellness program provides. In the end, this provides a key benefit to any employee who wants to better his or her health.

#4 - Incentives Encourage Employees

Employers who want employees to engage in these programs often use incentives to encourage it. This may include offering a bonus to employees who complete a health assessment. They may receive a larger benefit for attending workshops, achieving health improvement, or getting health coaching. Employees benefit from the incentive and the employer benefits from having a healthy staff.

#5 - Improved Bottom Line

According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, a wellness program can do much more. It can reduce overall healthcare costs to employers by as much as 55 percent. It can increase the productivity of those participating workers by as much as 52 percent. It can even reduce the amount of sick leave an employee takes by up to 32 percent.

Though health insurance may be a requirement for employers to pay, wellness programs can be an outstanding benefit that comes alongside these insurance programs. Employees benefit from the health services (getting aid when they are not sick is something many don't do.) Employers benefit from healthy employees who are happy with the company's plans and policies. For more information, contact a Gardiner Allen DeRoberts Insurance agent today.
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