United Benefit Advisors Insight and Analysis Blog

Happy and Well: Employee Wellness Under Obamacare

By Bill Olson, VP, Marketing & Communications at United Benefit Advisors
  Aug 21, 2013 4:00:00 PM

employee wellnessA recent article in Human Resource Executive Online shared a startling statistic: It takes about 16 years to realize a positive return-on-investment on employer-sponsored wellness programs. That’s a long time, and more importantly makes you wonder why we implement wellness programs at all? According to this article, it’s not so much about the health care dollars you gain back for your business with wellness programs, but more about how these initiatives can transform your company culture for the better.

Here’s a quick article excerpt:

“Edington believes wellness programs can't save enough in healthcare costs to make a difference – ‘maybe $200 to $300, at best’ – but he thinks a wellness program can create shareholder value.

How? By increasing job satisfaction, happiness factors and creating a great place to work. By association, according to Edington, wellness programs raise employee loyalty, decreases turnover and increases creativity and productivity. And that's good for the business' bottom line.

Edington summarizes it this way: ‘Happiness [is] the new, ultimate metric.’”

While some may want to argue the concept of wellness program ROI, you can’t debate the fact that more than 75 cents of every health care dollar spent in the United States goes toward treating chronic diseases such as arthritis, asthma, cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Regardless of an employer’s main reason for implementing a wellness program, it’s important to know the latest strategies when it comes to ensuring that they’re effective and PPACA-compliant.

Unum and United Benefit Advisors (UBA) are hosting two free webinars: “Health and Wellness and Employee Motivation: Making the Connection” on Aug. 27, 2013 at 2 p.m. ET, and “Legal Considerations When Developing an Employer-Sponsored Wellness Program” on Aug. 29, 2013 at 2 p.m. ET, that aim to address effective wellness program strategies and health care reform considerations.

 “Health and Wellness and Employee Motivation: Making the Connection” will prepare employee benefits and human resource managers to manage and consult upon the emerging issues related to the multigenerational workforce including productivity and motivation. The presentation examines the health care industry and its unique challenges in managing productivity due to the aging population, health reform, disengaged workers, and the need to mitigate the impact of the rising costs of healthcare among its own employees. To register, click here. Receive a $149 discount for this webinar, enter code UNUMUBA27 when registering.

To ensure that your wellness programs are PPACA-compliant, the webinar, “Legal Considerations When Developing an Employer-Sponsored Wellness Program,” will review new rules for wellness programs under health care reform. To register, click here. Receive a $149 discount for this webinar by entering the code UNUMUBA29 when registering.

Topics: employee engagement, HR webinars, wellness, employee wellness, UBA, employee benefits