Given the current upheaval in healthcare, employers face more questions than ever. As employers wrestle with the new landscape they find themselves in, some have decided to link their employee’s lifestyle with premiums. Some have implemented premiums for employees who smoke or who are overweight. Others however have doubled down on investing in their employee’s health and welfare in a variety of creative ways. Matt Bishop discusses some of these in a recent ACH & R article.
BP air conditioning in Glendale, New York opened a 3000 ft. gym for employees, free of charge, in mid-2013. “So far, its paid dividends as participation has remained constant,” John Fannin, BP group president said. The total investment thus far was $78,000, but according to Fannin, “we went all in.”
TD industries in Dallas has long considered employee wellness a big priority. In 2003, the company started reimbursing employees for activities or purchases that aided in a healthy lifestyle. In 2007 it started a wellness committee, and in 2009 the company engaged a wellness provider to help monitor and provide structure to the program. “As partners get more involved in activities, they can earn points that allow them to have reduced insurance premium rates or use those points to purchase items such as hotel discounts, electronics and iTunes gift cards,” said Maureen Underwood, EVP, people department.
Neither BP Air Conditioning nor TD industries have seen reduce rates from health insurance companies, nor have they been able to correlate reduced healthcare costs with its wellness program. While that may come in the future, both have seen a lot of excitement and employee participation in their programs. Since its inception in 2009, TD industries has seen a 38% participation rate in its formal wellness program. “Successes from the program rewards and contests has motivated many to participate that would not have otherwise,” said Underwood.
The investment in these various programs is worth it for the companies, because healthier employees have meant better, stronger, more energized workers. That’s been the case at the BP group as the company’s two owners are pleased with their return on investment. “Investing in the wellness of each TD partner is a great investment for our company,” said Harold McDowell, CEO. “A healthy workforce increases productivity and enhances partner engagement and satisfaction, which in turn, translates into the high quality of work our clients expect from TD.”
Source: ACH & R news, March 17, Matt Bishop