Keenan Blog

The goal of the Keenan Blog is to provide a forum where we can come together to discuss issues and cultivate the solutions that will have a meaningful impact on your organization.

Looking to improve employee health, reduce absenteeism and contain health care costs?

Matthew Szenderski 12/13/2012
Matthew Szenderski

Looking to improve employee health, reduce absenteeism and contain health care costs?

Promoting a wellness culture can help tackle all three.

Rising health care costs are a big concern for any company or organization providing health care benefits for employees. The CDC says health insurance premiums tick up 7% on average every year, expected to hit $20,000 per covered life by 2020. There are many reasons for this increase. But, as employers, we don’t have control over these variables. This dilemma can leave many of us feeling rather helpless. However, there are things you can do to keep your costs under control. You don’t have to simply stand by and watch.

By now, everyone has heard of “wellness programs.” What you might not know is that these programs show a high return on investment. In fact, they often pay for themselves. Wellness programs result not only in lower premiums, but also reduced absenteeism and higher employee satisfaction.

A recent study released in Health Affairs by Baicker, Cutler, and Song said, “In a critical meta-analysis of the literature on costs and savings associated with such programs, we found that medical costs fall by about $3.27 for every $1 spent on wellness programs and that absenteeism costs fall by about $2.73 for every $1 spent.”

So what’s involved in a successful wellness program? There is a lot more to it than publishing nutritional tips on your intranet or having a “Biggest Loser” contest, although these are both great ideas. Achieving real results requires a comprehensive, coordinated program, along with a workplace environment supportive of health and well-being. There’s really no reason to delay taking a serious look at developing a wellness program to help combat rising healthcare costs and take control of your medical dollars.

For additional information on KeenanWell products and solutions, contact Robin Rager Ph.D., Director of Health Management, at rrager@keenan.com.