Perspectives on Employee Health & Incentives
A lot of employee are aware of the health benefits entitled to them but not sure on how much or if their employers really cover them. This is a serious issue that everyone must address, especially the employees themselves. With all the responsibilities of employers to hardworking employees, it is just an important issue that everyone should consider.
According to 2011 statistics, only amounting $8500 is spent by an employer on the health care coverage of every employee, where in fact, the total bill for every employee should be at least $11,176 on which employees pick up the difference. 61% of the total employees view their poor health habits as the largest challenge to maintaining reasonable benefit coverage. Two out of three employees are unable to estimate the total amount spent by their employer on health benefits. Only 23% of them calculated the monthly spend by employers to be less than $500 every month. Most are unaware of the link between their health and the health care amount, or the favorable impact of pretty small behavioral changes.
Every employee must be aware that he is entitled to wellness program incentives. According to statistics, there are 65% of employers who provide wellness programs in order to improve the health of the employees. In 2011 37% of them used these incentives with wellness programs, while 17% used the incentives with condition management. However, the statistics increased in the following year turning 59% for the former and 54% for the latter.
Common Healthcare Incentives
Incentives are used in a number of different ways. 44% of them offer an incentive based on tobacco use status, 29% based on achievement of results like cholesterol or Body Mass Index (BMI), while 22% apply surcharges to employees who are not joining in the wellness programs. However, there are also issues among employees when it comes to their participation in the programs. Most of them don’t want to be forced from participating in wellness. 77% of them agree that employers should provide wellness programs in the effort to controlling health care costs, while 80% of them favor employers who provide a financial reward to the ones meeting specific health goals.
Furthermore, 68% of them disagree on charging more for health coverage when they don’t participate in wellness programs, while 71% disagree on charging more on health coverage when they don’t meet the specific health goals.
Now, there is a new guidance provided on incentives. To make result-based incentives fair and efficient with developing employee health, a newly published guidance suggests the following:
• Restrain from using penalty or reward, which is too big it that it can discourage participation.
• Employ the four most usual targets of cholesterol, tobacco use, weight and blood pressure.
• Reward for development toward the typical targets, rather than simply giving reward to the ones who have met the goal.
• Assist employees establish healthy behaviors by providing personalized support like a health coach, who can help them absorb and maintain healthy behavior alterations over time.
Knowing about the importance of wellness program incentive is essential for employees.