Most successful businesses are beginning to understand that the reactive approach to employee health—providing group health insurance for when employees get sick—is far less effective than one that combines preventive efforts with transparent/reactive medical services. Adding a traditional wellness program to group health benefits is the first step for employers that want to proactively reign in their increasing group healthcare costs. This approach is slow, sometimes ineffective, and difficult to measure success. More importantly, this philosophy is becoming obsolete.

By adding new programs—programs not traditionally considered "wellness" programs— employers can take their program to a whole new level. Employers will look to the new comprehensive healthy workforce programs to address not only nutrition, cessation education, exercise and disease management, but also disease prevention, functional employment testing, job analysis, ergonomic assessment, and injury prevention. By looking at the total health of our workforce, employers can impact all healthcare costs, including:

  • Group health insurance premiums

  • Workers' compensation insurance premiums and claims

  • Absenteeism

  • Presenteeism (workers who come to work but underperform due to illness or stress)

  • Morale

  • Worker satisfaction

  • Recruitment and retention

The cost of rehiring and retraining workers to replace hires that cannot perform the essential functions of a job and, therefore, become injured and make workers' compensation claims is a major one.

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