Wellness Programs Finally Catching On With Companies

by Barbara Mannino, FOXBusiness ,  FOXBusiness.com | 2012-06-21

Last January, Tim Longmeyer came face-to-face with how his lifestyle impacted his overall health and wellness. After taking the Health Risk Assessment for the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s new wellness plan he came out with a score seven years higher than his actual age.

The “aha” moment that followed the HumanaVitality test set him on a path of proper nutrition, increased activity and wellness education. “I lost 40 pounds, probably increased my life span and improved my overall quality of life,” he says.

Success stories like Longmeyer’s go a long way to encourage employers to purchase new population-driven health plans that zero in on each employee’s specific needs.

“People understand wellness better and are happiest when it works for them,” says Sean Slovenski, vice president of health and productivity solutions at Humana. Studies show that employees are increasingly buying in to these consumer-driven plans to help reduce rapidly increasing health care costs.

Sustained healthy behaviors among employees have a lot to do with improving a company’s bottom line, experts say, and health buzz culture is the necessary first step to a two-year return on investment that typically reaps $3 in savings for every $1 paid in administrative costs.

Kyle Rolfing, founder and president of RedBrick Health, claims the computation takes into account “soft” numbers—about a third that reflect productivity. But soft numbers don’t always pass muster with CFOs, but Rolfing says employers can expect a two-to-one return in the same two years if productivity is taken out of the equation.

Technology plays a huge role in building claims and prescription data that monetize progress.


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