With a bit a research you will find that nearly every report, from bloggers to Rand, clearly report that Wellness Programs that have a Disease Management program AND effectively communicates with the employees, will see the most return for their investment.
Spending a lot of money on Healthy Lifestyles is warm and fuzzy and may help the country out in the long run, but there isn’t so much of a bang for a buck. Especially for the average 100 employee group.
True wellness companies just aren’t in that small employer (<500) market any longer and the costs associated with putting one together just don’t make sense.
In a time where the competition lies in the bells and whistles, most carriers have built in a wellness program for their clients. Anthem Blue Cross of California has one of the best I have seen. Their Wellness Program is called “Time Well Spent” is turnkey. It provides the employer and the employee with the following:
- Wellness calendar with links to print or download 3 different flyers on the topic of the month. This allows for quick distribution to employees.
- Provides an introductory brochure to let employees know that it is time to get online and create an account for their health plan.
- They are reminded to get their annual exam so they know their numbers. Risk Assessments require current cholesterol, blood pressure and sugar
- Provides a free Health Risk Assessment.
- Employees with identified risks will be contacted in some manner by the carrier to jump into their disease management program.
I cannot detail the cornucopia of information that is available through this program. I can say that Anthem of California’s is very impressive and user friendly.
Frankly, most carriers have these program. In order to stand out to our clients, I try to pass the information on to both employer and employees. Although, without the commitment from the employers, they won’t get much traction. In the case of Anthem Blue Cross, it is VERY simple for an employer to decide if this effort will work for them. I only need print out the calendar, a few sample brochures, some of the reports backing up the efficacy of this particular route and get them going.
During this time of national change, employees are a bit worried about hearing from HR departments and Benefit Agents on their health plans. Employers looking for ways to bring some sunshine into their benefit program should consider this opportunity to spread a little positive action.