Essay on Employer Wellness Programs Have Become A Popular

Essay on Employer Wellness Programs Have Become A Popular

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Employer wellness programs have become very popular. Approximately half of the employers in the United States offer wellness incentive programs (Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, 2013). These programs usually include wellness screening and are then followed up with counseling on interventions to promote a healthier lifestyle (Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, 2013). However, in a survey completed by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (2013), only 46 percent of those employees surveyed actually participated in the programs. Survey participants in this study stated that part of their non-compliance was related to work schedules (Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, 2013).
Impact of Economics
In any basic level economics class one would learn, “there is no such thing as a free lunch: for every opportunity taken and for every option discarded there are trade-off costs (Milstead, 2016, p. 286)”. This statement is true when you look at the cost of healthcare in the United States. Insurance premiums for healthcare increased 160 percent from 1999 to 2011 (ADP, 2012). Employers had to find a way to off-set the cost of rising insurance premiums, which is how employee wellness programs came to fruition over the past 15 years.
Impact on Health Care Insurance
Health insurance policies are based on pools of risk and in order to balance out the risk, they need enough healthy individuals to balance out or exceed the sick individuals (Milstead, 2016). If there are too many high risk individuals, the insurance company will go bankrupt (Milstead, 2016). With wellness programs, health insurers increase their odds of having to insure...


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...P, 2012).
The incentives tied to employer wellness plans often offer a discounted rate with participation. The A.C.A. allows up to a 30 percent discount on the total cost of an employer plan as part of a cost sharing strategy tied to a wellness plan (Pollitz & Rae, 2016). An additional discount can be added if the wellness plan includes a tobacco cessation component (Pollitz & Rae, 2016).
Conclusion
Wellness plans were introduced to help individuals become healthier and thereby reducing their long term risk for disease. Overall, the goal is to reduce overall healthcare costs. However, ADP (2012) claims that shifting healthcare costs have negatively affected employee morale and job satisfaction. Time is just as important to individuals as money. However, trying to find a balance is often difficult and it can vary by each individual. As discussed, employees cited

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