One of the main benefits of employee wellness programs for businesses is that they have the potential to save lots of money. Those businesses that haven't instituted wellness programs tend to look at the cost of doing so, but overlook the ways that those same programs can help them save far more money, time, and resources than it takes to run them.
How do wellness programs lower healthcare costs? Here are just a few of the ways:
- Most chronic diseases are preventable – According to the CDC, 75% of all healthcare costs are due to chronic illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and cancer. Although most of these diseases can be prevented or managed with proper diet and exercise, many workers do not have the health education or the support network necessary to adopt the healthy lifestyle needed to do so. Corporate wellness programs provide that education and support, and can therefore help prevent the development of chronic disease, thereby reducing overall healthcare costs.
- Healthier employees cost less – In a study performed by doctors Richard Milani and Lavie, 185 employees at a single worksite were given cardiac rehabilitation and exercise training. By the time the study was over, 57% of employees who took part were downgraded from high risk to low risk in health factors that included body fat, blood pressure, and other important indicators. Medical claims per employee after the study declined by $1,421, which lead to a total of $6 saved for every $1 the company invested in employee wellness.
- Wellness programs come with tax incentives and grants – Businesses aren't the only organizations concerned with the growing cost of healthcare. Because of the enormous cost of healthcare on the federal budget, recent healthcare legislation has included tax incentives, grants, and other programs for businesses that institute workplace wellness programs. In addition to making employees healthier, happier, and more productive, employee health programs can also help businesses earn some extra money from Uncle Sam.