Red Hot Thoughts

Wellness Programs

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With 2015 right around the corner, many people are starting to consider their New Year’s resolutions…getting more sleep, exercising more, eating healthier, reading more, spending more time with the in-laws (???), etc.  While there are some resolutions you as a business owner cannot help with, there are some that you can.   Improved wellness is often one of the number one resolutions for the New Year.  Companies can help their employees reach their health-related goals by instituting wellness programs.

The Departments of Treasury, Labor, and Health and Human Services in previous years issued proposed amendments to regulations regarding nondiscriminatory wellness programs that will impact group health coverage. Those proposed regulations provided clarification to regulations and helped employers provide more incentives to employees hoping to improve and maintain their wellbeing.  The final regulations went into effect January 2014 along with many other provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).

Knowing many employers were eager to offer, or at least begin looking at the opportunity to offer, some type of wellness program to employees, we wanted to offer some approaches for creating a successful wellness program which can improve both the Company’s and employees’ “bottom” lines.

 

1. Create an overall business-wide culture that promotes health and wellbeing. At times, this may seem “easier said than done”.  Be patient and do not give up on your employees.  A healthier culture may not happen overnight. 

2. Confirm company policies and other programs which enrich employee health and productivity.  They should support the company’s wellness goals.  Some policies and programs to review are: smoking, drug testing/drug-free workplace, and leave plans including vacation and sick or PTO.

3. Offer motivating incentives to employees so they are excited to adopt healthier behavior.  When determining rewards, you may want to survey your employees to find out what types of rewards would motivate them. Also, you may want to refresh the incentive offerings on an ongoing basis in order to keep the program appealing to employees.  Furthermore, consider both financial and non-financial rewards.

4. Do not make rewards too hard to earn.  Make wellness goals achievable.  Even small changes can reap huge health benefits over time. 

5. Create a wellness program which offers opportunities for customization to fit employee needs. Maybe someone does not need to lose weight, but experiences lots of stress.  The program should embrace a holistic approach and offer options covering not just physical health, but mental, social and emotional health as well.

While considering these suggestions, please remember the wellness program must follow the current applicable regulations in effect as of 2014.  However, we do hope some of these ideas may make it easier for you to establish wellness programs which address your specific company needs.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at 866.599.1RED.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, October 7th, 2014 at 8:24 am and is filed under Advice, Employees. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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