Most successful businesses are beginning to understand that the reactive approach to employee health, such as providing group health insurance to cover employees when they 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 used to be the first step for employers who want to proactively reign in their increasing group healthcare costs. This approach is slow, sometimes ineffective, and it is difficult to measure success. More importantly, this philosophy is becoming obsolete.
By adding new, non-traditional "wellness" programs to their healthy workforce strategy, employers can take their program to a whole new level. Employers will look to a new generation of 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
Worker's compensation insurance premiums and claims
Presenteeism (workers who come to work but underperform due to illness or stress)
Recruitment and retention
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' comp claims