In this tough economy, it’s no small financial matter to include health insurance for your employees as one of your primary business insurance costs. In fact, it’s often so expensive to provide benefits to workers that many employers simply can’t afford to offer coverage at all, leaving even the most valued employees without affordable health care. One way businesses can reduce the expense of health insurance is by being proactive about health care and offering health incentives to employees directly.
Benefits of Wellness Incentives
Wellness incentives are one of the primary ways to cut the costs of employee health care. Programs that encourage employees to exercise, eat right and stay healthy can drastically slash premium costs. Studies also show that employees who are offered these types of incentive programs are more likely to feel satisfied in the workplace, and more likely to feel appreciated by their employer.
Types of Wellness Incentives
Wellness incentives to reduce health insurance premiums can come in all types of shapes and sizes. For example, companies may sponsor a “smoke-out” to help current smokers to finally quit for good. The incentive payout could be indirect, in the form of lower individual premiums, or could be an actual cash bonus delivered based on specific metrics of the incentive program. Weight-loss programs, company-sponsored marathons, and stress management workshops. Anything that helps encourage healthier employees can help reduce overhead on sky-high premium costs.
The Payout of Healthcare
Although offering healthcare benefits to your employees can be expensive, remember that this is a calculated investment in your valued workers. Employees are far more likely to remain with an employer who offers excellent health benefits. A higher retention rate can, in turn, save you money on having to train in new employees the way a company with lower retention rate would have to do. Plus, the workers who participate in the wellness incentive programs actually will become healthier. Better health leads to fewer sick days throughout the year, saving companies money in yet another way. Mental health improvement programs help employees manage stress better, making the workplace a more positive environment for everyone. Overall, despite the cost of maintaining small business insurance, keeping your employees happy and healthy is well worth it over the long haul.