For the employee to expect such excellent health benefits, they should be willing to do their part to “insure” the greatest level of health possible. To ignore this part of the health equation is to throw billions of dollars down the drain, a fraction of which could create a revolution in productivity and save insurance costs, lost time and wages, and many other related costs.
SO WHAT IS THE ANSWER?
We are presently noticing a glimmer of change taking place in this area. For instance, there are some insurance companies that are beginning to implement some aspects of a wholistic health plan. They have obviously recognized the potential to save major money in claims by educating their client’s employees and establishing specific standards to reach for. However, this is far to little to really address the real issues. It IS better than nothing but we have a long way to go to see success.
It is imperative that companies begin a health program that includes education, and focuses on the employee’s responsibility in maintaining their own health. As it is now, most employees look at being “sick” as a way to not have to go to work, and yet get paid for it. Below is a basic game plan for businesses to consider implementing to make some lasting improvements in the health of their employees, AND to drastically cut their health-related expenses.
- 1. Do an analysis of ALL health related expenses. Itemize this list into categories such as lost productivity, medical expenses related to sickness, monthly insurance premiums, etc. Be as detailed as possible so you know exactly where your money is going.
- 2. Design an employee health/fitness screening program to determine the level of health threat each person presents. The company nutritionist, in association with the company doctor or other health care professional can use this level to offer various health programs that match the level of health.
- 3. Incorporate a reward system that encourages the employees to participate. Have these employees design their own level of participation so they will be motivated to stick with it. As part of the program, these employees wouldn’t have any cost sharing in the overall health plan. Those who choose to NOT participate in the health program would have to pay a premium on their own health policy and would receive no bonuses or rewards. For those who are already involved with a program on their own, or who want to do their own nutritional work can simply fill out the questionnaire for details of their health lifestyle and have it verified by the company doctor/nutritionist.
- 4. This whole program could be computerized to track continuing costs month to month and to build a database for reference.
- 5. The company could hire their own nutritionist/doctor to oversee this program. The latest research can be utilized to prescribe the proper general nutritionals for the employees. This could be part of the company program, as incentive to participate and improve their health. We are NOT talking about medical treatment of anything. This is simple, basic, nutritional and fitness support in the most researched and vital areas of health.
This style of program is quite flexible, depending on the goal of the company or individual. The cost savings would theoretically be enormous, and productivity would increase. By utilizing financial rewards for participation, you can gently lead your employees toward a better level of health. Any costs with doing such a program would pale compared to the savings. The bottom line is, people need to start SOMEWHERE, SOMETIME!