Given all the changes surrounding the healthcare industry lately, workplace wellness plans have become a hot topic. CVS Pharmacy recently made headlines by requiring all employees to choose between submitting their personal health information to the company or paying an additional $50 per month for their health insurance coverage. While their end goal is to encourage a healthier work force, a few employees were less than thrilled about the ultimatum.
Recent studies have found that of the U.S. companies which provide health insurance, 34% either offers incentives for participating in employee wellness programs, or imposes penalties on employees who choose not to participate – this increasing from 25.4% of companies in 2009. Popular measures include employee health screenings, tobacco-cessation programs, and contributions to health savings accounts.
Many cities are also following suit, and some even using friendly competition as a way to encourage employees to participate. Greenbrier Gets Fit was launched by Mayor Melton Cotton of Arkansas as a voluntary wellness program for city employees. The program rewards points for different activities and winners are awarded gift cards both monthly and quarterly. The Arkansas State Department of Health took notice and has since asked Greenbrier to be the pilot city for The Community Healthy Employee Lifestyle Program which was created in 2012. This website-based program also keeps track of points and aims to increase overall employee health. Participants even have the opportunity to earn up to three days off work.
If you’ve been considering getting your company to join the wellness wagon, we suggest with starting by bringing in a fitness consultant who is well versed in physical and nutritional health. A holistic approach is best for long-term success. At CPH and Associate, we have a company chef to ensure our work meals are nutritious and balanced to keep us healthy and fueled to provide our policyholders the best service possible!
Does your company participate in or offer any wellness incentives? We’ll be celebrating Professional Wellness Month all June and would love to hear about how you keep it healthy in the workplace on Facebook!