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Health Care
Jul 15, 2015

Incentives For Healthy Living To Reduce Health Care Costs

Sponsored Content provided by Jeff James - Chief Executive Officer, Wilmington Health

As a businessperson, you have a lot on your plate. From keeping your customers happy to keeping employees happy, the list of your to-dos is always growing. But that doesn’t mean your costs have to. So let’s discuss another way in which you can help control or even reduce your insurance premiums and have more productive employees.
 
Here's a quick recap on what we’ve discussed so far in our series on health care cost reductions.

This Insights brings one of your greatest assets in the fight to control health insurance premium costs: your employees. You want to provide the best health care available, but you have to consider the bottom line. How can you provide meaningful coverage and maintain an affordable plan? Take a look around. Your employees most likely represent the normal distribution of healthy and unhealthy. By engaging your team in healthy habits, you can keep them and your bottom line on the right track. Plus, it encourages accountability by having employees take a hard look at how they can live healthier lifestyles.
 
The health care system is already holding you accountable for the health of your employees by evaluating your group’s usage of health care services. Each year, your health insurance company reviews all of the claims from the current year, evaluates the risks for future usage, and calculates your new premium. Why shouldn’t you hold your employees accountable for the impact they have on the bottom line of the company as it relates to health care?
 
So what’s the best way to motivate and engage your employees? The same as it is for most things: incentives. From cash bonuses to extra time off and everything in between, rewarding your employees for taking a more active role in their health is a win-win situation. There are a lot of options our there, but finding a few items to start that work for your employees can go a long way in changing their health and your costs.
 
Here are a few ideas to consider:
  • Discounted health care premiums rewarding healthy lifestyles (reporting BMI, weight and cholesterol, for example)
  • Incentives for participating in preventive health screenings and educational programs
  • Reward points for attending on-site nutritional and fitness classes, and weight management programs
  • Reimbursements for gym memberships or fitness classes with attendance requirements
  • Premium discounts for non-smokers
  • Time off for meeting health goals
  • Team fitness challenges to build morale and engage in positive health care habits 
Some people just need a little motivation to start living a healthier lifestyle. By promoting healthy habits, you can see the benefits in a number of ways. In addition to reduced health care premiums, employees who are engaged in their health care work harder to manage chronic conditions like diabetes or heart disease. With accountability, you will have healthier, more productive employees working with you as they reduce or eliminate their daily medications, drive down health care usage, and ultimately help lower premium expenses.
 
Working with your employees to engage them in healthy habits is a proactive approach to reducing your health care premiums. If you would like more ideas or help implementing incentive programs, Wilmington Health can help. Set up an appointment to review your plan at [email protected].
 
Jeff James is the chief executive officer at Wilmington Health and part of the team of providers and staff driving change in the health care system to reduce cost, improve quality and enhance the patient experience. Since 1971, Wilmington Health has been committed to the care and health of its community in Wilmington as well as all of southeastern North Carolina. Wilmington Health is structured as a multispecialty clinic with primary care providers integrated into the system. In this way, Wilmington Health is able to provide a comprehensive and coordinated approach to the care of all its patients. For more information go to http://www.wilmingtonhealth.com/compare.
 

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