Strategies Boost Employees’ Health

Certain employer strategies, such as consumer driven plans and wellness programs, are effective in motivating employees to improve their health, according to a survey from Aon Hewitt. Researchers surveyed more than 2,800 employees and their dependents covered by employer health plans. Sixty percent of employees who are enrolled in consumer-driven plans say they have made positive behavior changes related to their health; 28% get routine preventative care more often; 23% seek lower-cost health care options and 19% research health costs more frequently.

Seventy-eight percent of employees who are enrolled in consumer-driven plans are satisfied with the plans and 89% expect to re-enroll in this option for 2013. Ninety-seven percent of workers who have been in an account-based plan for two years or more say they plan to re-enroll.

Up to half of consumers would participate in a wellness activity that offered no financial incentive as long as participation was easy and convenient. Sixty-three percent of consumers would complete a health risk questionnaire for a monetary reward, and 62% would participate in a healthy eating or weight management program. Forty-eight percent would participate in a medically sponsored program to help them manage a health condition.

Fifty-eight percent of employers offer incentives for completing a lifestyle modification program (for example, to quit smoking or lose weight). About one-quarter offer incentives (monetary or non-monetary) for making progress toward meeting acceptable ranges for biometric measures, such as blood pressure, BMI, blood sugar, and cholesterol.

Eighty-six percent of workers who received suggested action steps based on a health-risk questionnaire went on to take some action, and 65% made at least one lifestyle improvement. Total health care costs per employee were $10,522 in 2012, and employers’ share of that cost was $8,318. When asked how much of the bill their employer pays, consumers significantly underestimate the portion their employers paid, guessing about half of the cost. For more information, visit www.businessgrouphealth.org.

Last Updated 7/11/2017

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