For many years, one of our larger clients saw their health care premiums rise steadily by double digits. At the time, raising deductibles, copays and other modifications in their plan design was their preferred approach to cost control. Three years ago they finally allowed us to come up with a more creative solution.
Through surveys and our conversations with many of the employees, we felt they could take more responsibility with their personal health decisions. We encouraged the employer to begin establishing a “culture of health” within their company, starting with management. To do this, we worked with the company to:
- add a telemedicine program,
- develop an expansion of the corporate wellness program with penalties and incentives,
- add technology to allow for better engagement through activity trackers and in-office competition and
- reorganize the cafeteria menu to provide healthier food options.
- To provide an added boost, we developed a regular cycle of educational and promotional communication materials, both in print and via electronic means, all designed to motivate and empower employees to take charge of their own health.
It took several months to implement the entire strategy, but the employer reported a noticeable shift in employee involvement by the end of the first year. The two subsequent years saw overall morale increase, a more productive workforce and a majority of employees becoming very engaged in actively managing their overall well-being. The employer recouped its implementation costs in the second year as claims utilization fell significantly and savings for the third year are estimated to be close to $145,000.