Maximizing Company Benefits to Get Fit in 2020
New year, new you. It’s the common refrain from many people as they rededicate themselves to better health, physical fitness, sleep, or financial improvement. In fact, losing weight is the number 1 resolution people make each year. While most resolutions only last until January 17, employer-provided benefits can help employees turn those resolutions into sustained positive change.
With only 52% of employees stating they understand their health benefits, now is a great time for employers to remind their workforce of new and existing perks that can help support their 2020 resolutions. Here are some common employer benefits that can help employee extend their resolution timeline:
Health Savings Accounts – Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) allow employees to make pre-tax contributions to an account that can be used for health care expenses (items like prescriptions, dental check-up, or co-pays on insurance). Employees can make tax-free contributions to an account and withdraw them to pay for certain types of medical care. In many cases, HSAs allow employees to accumulate from year to year, to be used in later years when medical expenses are higher or to be saved until retirement.
Financial Wellness – Money woes can have an impact on an employee’s physical health and the productivity of a company. To that end, more employers are offering financial wellness programing to help employees learn the basics of financial health, reduce finance-related stress, and enable greater money management. These programs often serve as a bridge between wellness services and comprehensive wealth management, incorporating simple money matters, spending awareness, and providing tools to help individuals have greater control over the stress and anxiety surrounding their finances.
Onsite Health Facilities – Medical care may be just down the hall asmore employers add in-house or shared medical facilities dedicated to serving their employee population (and some dependents). These onsite health facilities are usually run by a nurse practitioner, physician assistant, and/or medical doctor. Employers negotiate reimbursement rates that may employee co-pays significantly less or free compared to traditional physician practices. Some facilities offer preventive services, nutrition guidance, health coaching, fitness training, and exercise equipment.
Employer-sponsored nutrition programs – The Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) conducted a survey on healthy eating in the workplace and found almost 50% of employers offer nutrition programs, and 97% of employees want healthy food choices at work. As a result, more companies are adding healthy meal options at a discounted price for workers. Some companies also discount the cost of “better” vending options by reducing the price of water and protein bars compared to their sugar-loaded counterparts. For employees trying to commit to healthier eating in the new year, this benefit can also help to save money while keeping on track toward better health.
Workplace Wellness Programs – Workplace wellness programs have been around for nearly 40 years, but employers are getting better at creating holistic offerings that help to support lasting change. Today’s best-in-class wellness programs combine behavior modification components with guidance and engagement to help employees reduce their health risks. StayWell uses a high-tech, high-touch approach to engage employees in healthier behaviors. We integrate a personalized approach to health coaching programs, with a mobile first online health platform, and immersive communications and onsite programming options to help employees stay motivated and supported.
Health Fairs and Vaccination Clinics – Employee health fairs are an excellent way to raise awareness of health issues and encourage employees to take positive steps toward better health. These events can also help launch new employee wellness initiatives, provide routine screenings and vaccinations, and help support a strong company culture that values the well-being of its employees. Employees can learn more information about available company benefits and connect with vendors who may offer further discounts such as reduced gym memberships, prescription savings, and group exercise classes.
Regardless of the size of the organization or the breadth of company benefits, creating a culture that values the contributions of the workforce is key to helping engage employees in their benefits. By understanding the needs of their workforce, employers can determine the right mix of benefits that will ultimately make individuals and the company a success.
About the Author
As President of StayWell, a health care engagement organization, Pearce Fleming oversees operations, implementation, client service and product management across all of StayWell’s solutions and markets. He has more than 20 years of health care industry experience, and works with employers, health systems and payers to manage population health. When he’s not championing the latest health care investment or sharing the latest research outcomes with clients, you may spot him running across your town in his own personal journey for improved health and wellbeing.
- Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI). 2017 Health and Workplace Benefits Survey.https://www.extensisgroup.com/blog/survey-reveals-trends-in-employee-benefits