Corporate Wellness Programs Essay

This essay has a total of 1230 words and 7 pages.

Corporate Wellness Programs









Corporate Wellness Programs
Nate
University of Phoenix
RES
110
Mr.Baker
Jul 07, 2004


Corporate Wellness Programs
Corporate wellness programs are critical to the fiscal fitness of organizations in the
United States today. Corporate wellness programs vary in their methods, but the end goals
are the same: decrease medical costs and increase employee productivity. Healthcare costs
now consume over 50% of corporate profits and continue to increase at nearly 12% a year
(Powell, 1999, p.15). This dramatic rise in costs has caused employers to look for
innovative ways to combat the costs. In addition, larger companies now operate with more
employees in smaller a space, which creates more stress and allows for ailments to spread
faster. Corporate wellness programs focus on a proactive to employee health, as 80% of all
ailments are preventable (Prevent a Disease [PD], 2000, 3). I will provide you with an
overview as well as, some specific examples of these corporate wellness programs and the
results they produce.

Rising insurance costs are one the primary reason employers are investing in corporate
wellness programs more than ever before. Companies spent nearly $348 billion on employee
healthcare premiums in 1997 according to a study conducted by (Kuttner, 1999). A quick
overview of health insurance is necessary to better understand the methodology behind
corporate wellness, starting with the fact that all insurance companies exits to make a
profit. They review the company's utilization each year (how much they paid out for all
employees at the company) and weigh that against premiums collected (how much they took in
from employees.) Then they figure out their additional costs to administer the program and
a fair profit. So if there are a lot sick people, rates are going to go up a lot. If there
are more healthy people the rates will still go up but only 4-5% (to account for
inflation). So the company either needs to pass those costs along to the employee or
figure out how to lower those costs, which is where corporate wellness comes in.


The initial part of successful corporate wellness programs is employee evaluation and
assessing risk factors. People that are most commonly in the high-risk group are those
that are smokers or overweight. That group is responsible for the majority of absences as
well as the utilization, so it is very important that program has specifically tailored
programs to encourage their participation. The thought is not only are the high-risk
people being targeted, but you can also make the most appreciable gains by involving them.
Often these programs offer a bonus tied to documented use of these programs. Generally
employees would meet with a consultant to set up a diet and fitness program and they have
some type of code to enter to document their usage. In addition, monthly or quarterly
evaluations with the trainer would occur so they ensure it's effective. Another approach
has been a work team approach, where the manager encourages his group to workout together
achieving personal goals as well as fostering a more productive work environment. In
addition, employers also offer confidential counseling and other methods to help combat
smoking as well as psychological conditions. These methods have been successful in
involving high-risk employees and reducing their risk factor significantly.


Corporate wellness programs have a number of aspects and some are more comprehensive than
others but they all primarily focus on preventative care. The most effective preventative
tools are proper diet and exercise, which is generally the same thing people hear each
time they go to the doctor. Study after study concurs, people that workout and observe a
Continues for 4 more pages >>




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