Companies are depending heavily on employer-sponsored wellness programs to help them contain the cost of health-care insurance.
A recent study by Forrester Research asked 900 benefits professionals at companies of all sizes what they are doing to counteract the rising cost of health-care insurance. More than 60 percent of the respondents said their companies were introducing wellness programs to combat high health-care insurance costs. Running a distant second and third were sharing costs with employees and increasing the management of complex cases, neither of which could garner even 30 percent of companies in the study.
Wellness programs foster healthy lifestyles such as nutrition classes or fitness programs or help employees address health problems such as smoke cessation or weight management programs. Wellness programs that are offered most frequently by those companies surveyed by Forrester include smoking cessation, flu shot, health risk assessments and weight management.
Virtually all employers prefer to source the development and management of their wellness programs to outside professionals, and 85 percent of those responding to the survey said their companies outsource some or all of their wellness programs to one or more vendors, while only 25 percent said they ever developed their own custom program.