Do you want to add an employee wellness program to your health insurance plans? Wellness programs, which prioritize preventative care through reducing bad habits and encouraging good health choices, can save employers and their staff money in the long term. But how should you implement a group health plan in your workplace? Here are a few dos and don'ts to get started.
Do Find Out What Employees Want
Anything related to your group health insurance should be employee-driven. For the wellness program to work, employees must use it. So start by analyzing how your employees use any current health insurance, what their health issues are, what they want to work on, and what motivates them. Talk with them about what they want to see in a plan and how they want to participate in it.
Don't Assume All Plans Are the Same
Some employers who find themselves disappointed by the results of their wellness programs have simply signed on to generic offerings. Wellness programs that have the best results generally are tailored to the specific needs and interests of your actual employees. This may mean targeting just a few goals, such as reducing smoking or increasing access to mental health care.
Do Find Out What Insurance Offers
Start by researching your group health insurance providers to see what is included when you purchase various plans. The most cost-effective wellness plans, especially for many small businesses, are those which come as part of the insurance package you buy. You may also be able to customize this package to better target specific goals.
Don't Focus on Penalties
Wellness programs should focus on benefits and positive results — the carrot — instead of penalties for bad choices — the stick. While it may be tempting to, for instance, to tell employees they'll pay higher premiums unless the whole group achieves a certain goal, it can have the opposite effect than you want.
Do Ask About Add-Ons
If the right wellness plans aren't available within your insurance coverage, talk to agents about additional programs you may be able to access or buy into. These programs might be services offered by the insurance carrier's partners or subsidiaries, sponsored community programs, or separate pay services you can opt to purchase.
Where to Start
Want to know more about wellness plans available to you? Start by meeting with your group health insurance agent. With their guidance, you're sure to find a wellness program that complements your insurance coverage and keeps your workforce happy and healthy.