Companies Look To Wellness Programs To Control Health Care Costs
Companies around Baltimore and the country are increasingly using wellness programs designed to get employees healthier as a way to rein in skyrocketing health care costs, The Baltimore Sun reports.
"For many businesses, doing so will be a matter of survival as the cost of health care soars along with chronic health problems, corporate wellness experts say. Experts contend that improving workers' health can also reduce costs associated with absenteeism and workers' compensation."
Employers such as Domino Sugar, Laureate Education and apparel designer 180s have started offering free classes, small gym membership subsidies or competitions to lose weight, The Sun reports.
"Employers have begun embracing wellness programs, agreed Kenneth R. Huber, a senior vice president for the employee benefit group at PSA, 'because of the crisis we're in. People have tight budgets right now and find it difficult to set aside money, but now more than ever it is critical to get at these costs,' Huber said," according to The Sun.
Dr. Steven Aldana, founder of a work site wellness consulting firm called WellSteps said employers have only in the last five to 10 years seen that their own costs can be driven down by using wellness programs. "He said he still encounters resistance from employers who choose not to start wellness programs, mostly because they're not convinced they'll get an adequate return on their investment" (Mirabella, 5/27).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.