How Much Should a Company Invest in Wellness Program?

November 12, 20192:17 pm2359 views

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WHO claimed that the trend to spend more on health is growing faster and impacting the global economy, accounting for 10 percent of global domestic product (GDP). WHO data revealed a swift upward trajectory of global health spending, which is particularly noticeable in low- and middle-income countries where health spending is growing on average 6 percent annually, compared to the 4 percent in high-income countries.

What is the relation between healthcare GDP and business?

Levit & Cowan study cited that national health accounts become the identification of expenditures for which businesses are responsible. Company sponsors at least 89 percent of privately-financed insurance policies through employer-sponsored private health insurance (health insurance plan). Hence, as healthcare costs continue to be of concern to Global businesses, employers should rethink their health benefits.

See also: Want to Improve Your Employees’ Wellness? Here are Some Ideas

Moreover, IBI calculated that in the U.S., employees covered for sick time, compensation, disability, and family and medical leave benefits are absent about 893 million days due to illness. These illness-related absences result in lost productivity which cost an employer up to US$530 billion per year, amounts to 60 cents for every dollar employers spend on healthcare benefits. That means employers paid nearly US$880 billion in healthcare benefits for employees and dependents.

As a result of higher healthcare investment, nevertheless, companies are highly motivated to keep healthcare costs as low as possible by starting worksite wellness programs. Wellness programs are proven to be beneficial for both employers and employees as it can curtail health costs, retain good workers, attract good employees, reduce absenteeism, and improve employee productivity, morale, and safety.

Top points to include in a wellness program

That said, for every employer who is serious about their employees’ mental and health wellbeing, the wellness program should include the following comprehensive points.

  • Wellness training and plenty of wellness resources such as on-site yoga, gym equipment, or sleeping space.
  • An annual health and lifestyle assessment with biometric screenings such as blood test, blood pressure, and BMI.
  • Continuously improving the awareness of a healthy lifestyle and the need for lifestyle changes.
  • Inviting or having at least one must-attend wellness program.
  • Providing motivational activities and incentives to boost employee participants.
  • Frequent motivation for health communication such as newsletters, health challenges, and reminders.
  • Health tracking program for physical activity, wellness activity, and events that are tied to incentives, recognition, and rewards.
  • Wellness program evaluation and outcome analysis.

The recommended budget to spend on the program

SHRM survey revealed that on average, a wellness program can cost between US$3 and US$7.5 per employee each month (approximately US$36 to US$90 per year). However, the cost might rise or become lower depends on the work-sponsored program you purchase such as health risk appraisal, incentive management, online resources, culture change, wellness campaigns and team challenges, and integration of fitness devices.

WellSteps showed that things that make wellness program a bit expensive are biometric screening which costs up to US$40-$75, health coaching US$140-$165, and benefits-based incentives which cost around US$200-$800 per employee annually. That said, a wellness program can approximately spend up to US$400 per employee per year with a promising return on investment.

Employers, in this regard, can choose to take a reactive approach to healthcare where you pay for health problems after they develop and continue to see your healthcare costs climb. Alternatively, employers can take a proactive approach to invest in the health of employees. Proactive wellness clearly makes a good business sense while comprehensive workplace wellness is in place to boost your workplace health condition. In addition, companies can match their budget to employees needs when it comes to healthcare benefits which create a win-win solution. 

Read also: 8 Best Corporate Wellness Companies across Asia to Collaborate With

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