Promoting Wellness as a Way of Cutting Rising Healthcare Costsby Charles Pareigis (September 12, 2018)
If you provide your employees with healthcare coverage, you’re probably keeping a wary eye on the market right about now.
In July, CNN reported that the American mortality rate for liver cancer had increased 43 percent from 2000 to 2016. Combine this with a recent Sun Life Financial report that taps cancer as the main reason million-dollar-plus medical claims have nearly doubled since 2014, and investing in employee health benefits might start to look like a bad idea.
This can’t be further from the truth. According to the Harvard Business Review, health benefits are still considered the most desirable employee offering, with a solid 88% of survey respondents saying it played a major role in where they applied for jobs.
To stand out as an employer, you almost have to offer health insurance benefits.
Well, how do you cut costs, then? With health insurance claims increasing by millions of dollars each year, surely these health insurance plans aren’t sustainable.
The best way to reduce healthcare expenses: Promote preventive care among your employees.
“Prevent cancer, you say? Impossible!”
We admit, tackling cancer is no easy task. But, if you break down the risk factors that lead to different forms of cancer, you’ll find your goal becomes much more attainable.
For example, the previously referenced CNN article mentioned some of the leading risk factors for liver cancer:
- Excess alcohol consumption
- Hepatitis B and C infections
Each of these problems has methods of prevention; it’s simply a matter of educating your employees as to what they are – and giving them the incentive to follow through.
If obesity is a major problem in your workplace, consider hiring a nutrition consultant employees can visit.
Do a lot of your employees smoke? Offer free cessation classes.
Similar solutions can be applied to many risk factors. The object isn’t to cure cancer (or other diseases), but to help prevent them, while stopping people from getting to the point where they need costly treatment.
Of course, these solutions are not without costs of their own, but you have to think long-term. If offering your employees nutritional advice at no expense can prevent them from getting cancer, you could reduce your share of monthly premiums and continue to drive loyalty.
Are you due for a check up on your employee health benefit plan? Reach out to us, and we’ll come up with a plan that leaves you – and your employees – in peak condition.