Employee Health Promotion Programs are an excellent investment, at least according to
Lincoln industries in Nebraska. CNN reported on this 565 employee company their committed
investment in their worker’s wellness.
Employee Health Promotion Programs are part of company Culture
The Employee Health Promotion Programs, according the story, has been in place for 16 years
at Lincoln, and it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. The company has three full-time
employees dedicated to the Company Health and Wellness Program and the wellness of the
employees, who receive on-site massages and a round of instructor-led stretching before they
start their shifts.
Employee Health Promotion Programs Assessed
According to CNN, one of the rules of the Employee Health Promotion Program, which employees
are not mandated to participate in, is that they receive quarterly checkups where
assessments are completed on their weight, amount of body fat and flexibility. Based on
these health assessments, the employees are then ranked from platinum all the way down to
“non-medal”. To become platinum level, where you receive a company-paid climbing trip, you
must achieve certain physical fitness levels and be a non-smoker. Smoking cessation classes
are part of the Employee Health Promotion Program.
Employee Health Promotion Programs Result in Big Savings
The Company Health and Wellness Program has been a smart investment for Lincoln Industries.
By having healthier employees, they have seen an average of $2 million in savings in medical
care costs per year. The savings don’t stop there, since instituting a Employee Health
Promotion Program, workers’ compensation claims have gone from $500,000 per year down to
less than $10,000 per year.
Advantages of Employee Health Promotion Programs
Employee Health Promotion Programs Becoming Increasingly Popular
Employee Health Promotion Programs are Becoming Increasingly popular outside the workplace,
showing the ever-increasing importance of disease prevention and health risk management.
Private insurance corporations, as well as state Medicaid and Medicare offices are working
on ways to enhance the health of the people they insure in hopes to save money in the long
run. They are finding that mini-Corporate Employee Health Promotion Programs are definitely
the way to go.
Employee Health Promotion Programs Aid in Early Intervention
A recent article that recently appeared in The Indianapolis Star, businesses, insurers and
government agencies are turning to “early intervention to change the behavior of those
struggling with common but dangerous health conditions, such as asthma, diabetes, heart
failure and coronary heart disease.”
The strategies that they incorporated to enhance their beneficiaries’ wellness postcard
reminders for different lab tests or check-ups; and possibly even phone calls from nurses to
work with the patients to make sure that they are taking their medicines properly and
following the lifestyle changes that were suggested by their medical care provider.
Employee Health Promotion Programs Offer Quality Benefits
There are more benefits to a Company Health and Wellness Program than just the savings that
an company or a state agency will see; there is the benefit to the actually patient. The
patient is going to get the motivation and the incentive to get better or to manage their
health and their health risks by having to answer to someone, whether that someone is a
full-time wellness worker at their company or a nurse affiliated with their insurance
Employee Health Promotion Programs: The Bottom-Line Enhancer
Employee Health Promotion Programs are proven to improve productivity and lower medical care
costs. For a business, that makes a difference in the bottom-line. Today, more than 81
percent of America’s businesses with 50 or more workers have some form of Company Health and
Wellness Program with the most popular being exercise, tobaccos cessation classes, back care
programs, and stress management. The majority of businesses offer Employee Health Promotion
Programs simply because they think the benefit is worth the cost. Yet business leaders
continue to ask themselves how to control huge annual increases in medical insurance
premiums and medical care costs.
For many businesses, medical costs can consume half of company profits or more. Some
employer’s look to cost sharing, cost shifting, managed care plans, risk rating, and
cash-based rebates or incentives and rewards. But these methods merely shift costs. Only
Employee Health Promotion Programs stand out as the long-term answer for keeping workers
well in the first place.
Employee Health Promotion Programs are an example of medical care reform that works. Results
from America’s finest businesses, summarized here, are reason enough to consider offering
Employee Health Promotion Programs. This investment in your most important asset – your
workers – can have a positive impact on your bottom-line.
Company Health and Wellness Program Statistics:
Providence Everett Medical Center, a member of the Wellness Councils of America, in Everett,
Washington, saved an estimated 3 million or a cost-benefit ratio of 1 to 3.8 over 9 years of
an outcomes-based Employee Health Promotion Program. By offering financial incentives and
rewards ($250 – $325) to workers who meet specific organizational and worker health
initiatives the Company Health and Wellness Program continues to meet cost containment
expectations in the area of medical care use, sick time, injuries, while improving health
habits and self-care practices.
During the first 4 years of the Company Health and Wellness Program there was a 28 percent
average reduction in medical care utilization compared to nine other Providence hospitals
that were used as a control group.
Du Pont saw that each dollar invested in their Company Health and Wellness Program returned
$1.42 over two years in lower rates of absenteeism costs at Du Pont Co. (Well workplace Gold
in Delaware). Absences from illness unrelated to the job among 45,000 blue-collar staff
members dropped 14 percent at 41 industrial sites where the Company Health and Wellness
Program was provided, compared with a 5.8 percent decline at 19 sites where it was not.
The Travelers Corporation claims a $3.40 return for each dollar invested Employee Health
Promotion Programs, yielding total company savings of $146 million in benefits costs. Sick
leave was lowered 19 percent during the four-year study. In addition to improving the
overall health of 36,000 workers and retirees by decreasing poor health habits and
increasing good ones, The Travelers realized cost savings by decreasing the number of
unnecessary visits to a doctor and emergency rooms. In a similar but smaller study, members
of a Travelers fitness center Company Health and Wellness Program were absent from work
significantly fewer days than non-members.
The Company Health and Wellness Program at Reynolds Electrical & Engineering Company, based
in Las Vegas, cost $76.24 per worker during the two years it has been in operation. Over
half of the 1,600 workers participated in the Employee Health Promotion Program.
Participants significantly lowered cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and weight and
experienced 21 percent lower lifestyle-related claim costs than non-member. Resulting
savings: $127.89 per member in the Company Health and Wellness Program with a benefit to
cost ratio of 1.68 to 1.
Superior Coffee and Foods, a Bensenville, Illinois-based subsidiary of Sara Lee Corporation,
attributes impressive results to the success of the business’s complete Employee Health
Promotion Program. Superior showed 22 percent fewer admissions to a hospital, 29 percent
shorter hospital stays, and 42 percent lower expenses per admission when comparing costs for
this division’s 1,200 workers with costs for other divisions. Long-term disability costs
were down by 40 percent.
With medical costs per worker at $6,000, nearly twice the national average, Union Pacific
Railroad introduced their Company Health and Wellness Program to its 28,000 workers, mostly
union and blue collar, in 19 Western and Southern states. Beginning with a modest medical
self-care initiative at an annual cost of $50 per person, the Company Health and Wellness
Program achieved a net savings of $1.26 million. In addition, a voluntary Company Health and
Wellness Program to help workers decrease health risks projected a cost-benefit ratio of 1
to 1.57 after one year. Staff Members in a treatment group decreaseed their risk of high
blood pressure (45 percent) and high cholesterol (34 percent); others moved out of the
at-risk range for weight problems (30 percent); and 21 percent stopped smoking.
Average medical costs of high-risk Steelcase workers- those whose lifestyles include two to
four health risks such as smoking, little exercise, overweight- are 75 percent higher than
those of low-risk workers. But high-risk workers at this Grand Rapids, Michigan-furniture
manufacturing business who enhanced their health habits through the company’s Company Health
and Wellness Program and became low risk cut their average medical claims in half thus
lowering their medical insurance costs by an average of $618 per year. If all high-risk
workers (20 percent of the total worker population) in one location changed their lifestyles
to become low risk, the projected savings could total $20 million over three years.
Staff Members at Berk-Tec, a small manufacturing business in Lancaster County Pennsylvania,
learned self-care techniques and decreaseed their business’s medical care costs in one year.
By using a self-care guide, the 938 workers and their family members made smart medical
decisions and saved $21.67 per employee and dependent a nearly 18 percent reduction in
costs. By combining reductions in doctor visits and emergency room use, the business saved
$39.06 per employee a 24.3 percent decrease in costs over the previous year.
A medical claims-based study of 72,000 people insured through 285 Wisconsin school districts
found a lower demand for medical services among those with access to Employee Health
Promotion Programs and self-care programs. Reductions in medical services results in savings
for the Wisconsin Education Insurance Group of as much as $4.75 for each $1 spent, higher
savings were found in the group receiving access to a 24-hour phone-based nurse advice line,
a self-care reference book, and health education materials.
CIGNA’s Healthy Babies prenatal Company Health and Wellness Program delivered an average
savings of $5,000 per birth by offering expectant mothers with educational materials and
rewarding early and regular prenatal care. And 80 percent of participants had normal births
without complications compared with 50 percent for non-member.
With savings estimated to be as high as $8 million, the California Public Staff Members’
Retirement System sent its 55,000 retirees a health rist assessment followed, in some cases,
with individualized reports and letters and self-care materials to encourage change and help
reduce health risks among retirees and at the same time reduce the medical care claim costs.
In another study, Bank of America retirees in California who chose the full Company Health
and Wellness Program and demand reduction program showed a decrease in total direct and
indirect costs of 11 percent compared with an increase of 6.3 percent for those who
completed only a simple health questionnaire.
With lower medical care claims, medical costs decreased 16 percent for employees in the City
of Mesa (Arizona) who participated in the complete Employee Health Promotion Program. The
city realized a return of $3.60 for each dollar invested in the wellnss program for the city
To prevent back injuries among its employees, a county in California targeted white- and
blue-collar staff members, provided classes and fitness training. As a result, there was a
significant rise in worker morale, lowered worker’s comp claims, medical costs and sick days
related to back injuries producing a net cost-benefit ratio of 1 to 1.79.
Employee Health Promotion Programs: Results
Employee Health Promotion Programs offer Long-Term Results
Employee Health Promotion Programs, according to an article in Crain’s Detroit Business,
come in two varieties: Employee Health Promotion Programs or Medical Insurance products
that aim to lower costs if healthy habits are followed. Both options are a good choice, but
only one will really offer long-term medical benefits for your employees and lower costs
over the years.
Employee Health Promotion Programs offer Help
Insurance-based products offer employees the opportunity, according to the article by Jay
Green, to save money on their premiums if they follow certain steps, including performing an
online health assessment, visiting their doctor, and agree to adopt a healthy lifestyle.
These plans usually involve one coach call to the worker during the first 90 days. We
wonder if these brief wellness encounters will actually change a individual’s lifestyle.
It is the overall change in a individual’s lifestyle, as well as disease prevention that
will lead to lower health costs in the future.
Employee Health Promotion Programs offer convenient Health Risk Assessments / Health Risk
Appraisals and health screening for things like diabetes, cholesterol and blood pressure.
As the article notes, these have initial start-up costs, but the savings accrue over time
and employees are more likely to stay active in an worksite worker Health Promotion Program.
Employee Health Promotion Programs Get Results
Finally, the article notes that corporations with an effective Company Health and Wellness
Program can expect to see “500 percent lower absenteeism, 400 percent fewer disability
claims, and 350 percent lower medical care costs.” These are numbers that are very hard to
Company Health and Wellness Program Tends
Employers are no longer able to trim extra savings out of their medical insurance programs,
and most businesses have been cost shifting, asking workers to cover more of their medical
care costs. Health insurance costs continue to climb (10 percent or more per year) at 2-3
times the general inflation rate. With nowhere else to turn, businesses are – more than ever
– looking to get workers engaged in Employee Health Promotion Programs as a means of slowing
medical care costs and improving productivity.
For example, last year 53 percent of large businesses provided Health Risk Assessments /
Health Risk Appraisals for their staff, up from 35 percent just two years earlier, according
to a Mercer survey. Change is being driven by cost, but Employee Health Promotion Programs a
win-win solution for both businesses and workers.
Here are other Company Health and Wellness Program trends organizations are implementing:
More businesses are integrating Employee Health Promotion Programs into their benefits
plans. If they want the best plans or the lowest individual costs, they need to participate
in the Company Health and Wellness Program and meeting minimum objectives.
More businesses are offering worksite weight loss programs as part of the Employee Health
Promotion Program, especially after Duke University’s new research showing the high cost of
overweight workers and improved cost for worker’s compensation for sedentary and overweight
Employers are offering more Employee Health Promotion Programs designed to assist workers
with chronic health conditions: health coaches, nurse advice lines, telephone counseling,
and self-study guides
Employers are offering more web-based Company Health and Wellness Program interventions and
health information resources
More businesses are offering regular worksite employee health screenings including
cholesterol, glucose, A1c, blood pressure, weigh-ins, and other checks as a component of
their Employee Health Promotion Program. Some Employee Health Promotion Programs even
include bone-density checks and skin cancer screenings.
Many businesses are offering fitness programs, either in the community or worksite, as a
component of their Employee Health Promotion Program.
Corporations are offering more prizes, rewards, and incentives getting engaged in Company
Health and Wellness Program activities
Some businesses are adding emphasis to maintaining health. It’s one thing to lose weight or
stop smoking; it’s another to maintain these changes. Helping workers stay engaged and
maintain their health changes is important for long-term success.
Employers are putting more emphasis on keeping healthy people healthy rather than just
working primarily with high-risk individuals. Research shows this approach results in a
greater Company Health and Wellness Program return on investment (ROI).
Wellness businesses are offering great resources for businesss’ workers over the Internet –
online wellness centers, monthly health and wellness newsetters, wellness challenges,
web-based points tracking systems, virtual fitness programs, web-based wellness coaching or
interventions, interactive health calculators, healthy recipes, even downloadable health
tips for your iPod.
Employers who are becoming more proactive are making a big impact on their future medical
care expenses and productivity. Ohio State University announced that they expect to save $30
million dollars with their complete Company Health and Wellness Program over the next 5
Employee Health Promotion Programs and prevention are sound ideas whose time has come.
Health Promotion is more fun and less expensive than treating disease.
References: TIME in partnership with CNN, “Businesses Help Workers Lose Weight.” Website
accessed July 2007.
Beginninging a Company Health and Wellness Program
Employee Health Promotion Programs for Small Businesses
Why Have a Employee Health Promotion Program?