Wellness is a moving target. As the definition of the term and employee expectations of a wellness program continue to evolve, employers and benefit providers may find it hard to keep up. In general terms, there’s widespread agreement on the need for wellness programs, and even some consensus on what a program should look like.
According to the RAND Employer Survey, 69% of employers with 50 or more employees offer a wellness program, with the majority of these programs using a combination of screening activities and interventions.
Screening activities, used by 80% of employers with a wellness program, include:
Interventions, also used by 75%-80% of employers with a program, include:
Lifestyle management programs such as:
Employees have to buy in to wellness
These general parameters may work well for employers, but employees are less likely to be buying the wellness program their employers are selling.
Use of wellness programs hovers around the 50% mark, with only around 46% of employees actually undergoing clinical screening and/or completing an HRA. And for those employees whose assessment indicates an intervention is necessary, 20% or less actually follow up and participate in the program .
So, many employers, brokers and benefit providers continue to look for ways to improve employee participation and engagement in programs. Among the changes to watch for:
An often-missed health and wellness tool
What’s missing from all these definitions of wellness programs and trends in program management? Eye health and vision care.
Did you know, employers that offer vision benefits saved $5.8B over 4 years due to lower health care costs, greater productivity, and less turnover.
An annual comprehensive eye exam provides an important first opportunity to detect diseases and conditions like diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, high cholesterol, glaucoma, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, and more .The impact can go straight to the bottom line, especially when you consider that diabetes alone has the third-largest impact on national quality of life in terms of member cost .
EyeMed HealthyEyes, our approach to wellness through vision, integrates extremely well with existing wellness programs. It complements the intervention aspect of most wellness programs by offering clients reports reporting on high-risk conditions codes like diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
“HealthyEyes” can mean healthy members
Our educational approach stresses the importance of annual comprehensive eye exams to employees’ overall health, and supports wellness and existing wellness programs with proactive communications in many forms:
Wellness may be a moving target, but vision benefits can help you focus on the bullseye – healthier, happier employees. And here’s something you don’t often hear from a benefit company: EyeMed wants members to use their vision benefits to make sure their eyes – and everything else – stay healthy … while employers save money.
For more information, contact your EyeMed representative. If you don’t already have benefits through EyeMed, visit starthere.eyemed.com and fill out your contact information. Someone will contact you shortly.
1.“Incentive for workplace Wellness Programs,” accessed June 15, 2018, at https://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/research_briefs/RB9800/RR9842/RAND_RB9842.pdf
2.Mattke, Soeren, et al. "Workplace wellness programs study." Rand health quarterly 3.2 (2013).
7.“2018 Trends to Watch,” accessed June 15, 2018, at https://www.businessgrouphealth.org/benchmarking/2018-trends-to-watch/.
8.Gallup Analytics, 2017
9.“Simple Tips For Healthy Eyes,” accessed June 15, 2018, at https://nei.nih.gov/healthyeyes/eyehealthtips
10.“BlueCross BlueShield: The Health of America: Diabetes and the commercially insured US population,” accessed June 15, 2018, at https://www.bcbs.com/the-health-of-america/reports/diabetes-and-commercially-insured-us-population.