Wellness programs benefit small business.
Many large corporations provide wellness programs for all levels of their workforce. They do so because experience and statistics clearly reveal that those people who participate in wellness programs have improved overall health with fewer risk factors for disease. Additionally, employers benefit from increased productivity, less sick leave and improved employee loyalty and morale.
Wellness programs are no longer a luxury for only large companies with hundreds of employees. A wellness program can have equal and even greater benefits for small businesses as well. Many small business owners want to provide health and wellness benefits for their staff but often assume that the costs would outweigh the benefits. However, with health insurance premiums outpacing the rate of inflation every year while providing fewer benefits, many employers are simply unable or unwilling to budget for healthcare. And given current economic conditions, many employees cannot afford the high cost of healthcare for themselves and their families.
One solution to this dilemma is to consider offering wellness programs in place of or in addition to traditional health insurance plans. Insurance is expensive and is only used occasionally when someone gets sick. While these plans can be important for emergency situations and crisis management, most of the money spent on health insurance plans simply thickens the wallets of the insurance industry with little to no direct benefit to employees. On the other hand, a wellness program, when implemented properly, can help people to prevent disease, treat illness and improve health. By educating and monitoring people on an ongoing basis, people are encouraged and motivated to achieve and maintain healthy lifestyle choices and behaviors that result in increased productivity, less sick leave and improved company loyalty and morale.
Many health, medical and wellness providers and companies are beginning to impliment programs that are designed specifically with the small business in mind. This trend can only serve to improve the quality of our health care system as a population that actively and routinely engages in wellness programs will be healthier and will not burden an already heavily burdened healthcare system.