This is a big topic as it is big money..if it can work by killing two birds wit one stone then it is definitely a winner; however, all company plans may not be created equal..read the fine print and make sure it is a win-win for you...and above all...find out where your health information goes and who has access to your records. Be sure you have your own copy too. Health coaching can be beneficial and informative if the programs are administered correctly and the fear of continued employment or potential loss of insurance benefits are removed from the process. BD
UPS, which rolled out its program to more than 100,000 nonunionized employees in mid-2006 and to the rest of its 285,000-person work force in February, provides coaches mainly to employees who have, or are at risk of having, diabetes, asthma, coronary heart disease or congestive heart failure. With its health-care costs rising 7 percent to 8 percent annually, UPS sees coaches and its employee-wellness program as a way to reverse the upward trend, company officials said.
Health coaching "has skyrocketed in the last two to three years," Staufacker said. Once aimed just at employees with chronic health problems, the use of personalized, telephone coaching has since proved to be a cost-effective way to help many employees make lifestyle-behavior changes.
UnitedHealth's health-coaching services are growing 30 percent a year, and by the end of this year, 2.5 million people will have access to its health coaches, according to company officials.