Trim Costs Without Reducing Benefits
Trimming costs from a city’s benefits budget doesn’t have to come from reducing benefits: savings can come from wellness initiatives. An article on page 20 of the US Mayors Newspaper in August 6 2012, reports that mayors and cities are expanding and implementing wellness programs to do just that.
With an estimated ROI of $6 for every dollar invested, wellness programs are a great way to save money long term while giving employees an additional benefit now. Benefits can range from on-site fitness centers to nutritional counseling to employer-subsidized gym memberships.
The case for wellness
Regardless of the type, most wellness initiatives typically have one goal in common — weight loss, and for good reason. Nearly two-thirds of adults today are overweight, according to the U.S. Surgeon General. This health issue alone results in 36 percent higher spending on health care and 77 percent higher spending on medications than on employees with a healthy weight.
Results can be measured through
- fewer sick days
- reduced preventable chronic conditions
- increased employee productivity
- more positive work environment that leads to better morale and employee retention
Measurable Cost Savings
The cost savings are tangible. The City of Lewiston (ME) offers a great example of how to benefit from wellness initiatives. Lewiston implemented a wellness program for its 443 employees in 2006. The city consequently reduced its health insurance costs by $980,000 through 2011.
What has worked for cities can work for companies, small and large. We’ll help you find resources to help you enjoy the benefits of better health for your employees and your bottom line.