Many studies have shown that employee health and wellness directly or indirectly impact business growth. And so, many employers are looking to implement corporate wellness programs to improve employee wellbeing.
A good wellness program not only focuses on the holistic wellness of the workforce, but also contributes to better workplace culture, lower healthcare costs, reduced absenteeism rates, improved employee productivity, and more.
In our previous blog, we spoke about the probability of healthcare costs to rise by almost 5.3% in 2021. And so, cultivating healthy habits in employees can save up to $730 billion in healthcare costs.
Reducing workplace healthcare costs is a desirable prospect for all businesses, especially the ones that are self-insured. Through well-designed corporate wellness programs, health plans can be more beneficial to their members, translating into long-term trustworthy relationships.
However, all wellbeing programs and wellness platforms do not work the same way. Here are 5 key demarcating features of employee wellness programs that health plans must consider while comparing to choose the wellness platform vendors.
Coming to wellness programming aspects, health plans are in quite an exclusive position. Health plans can sort their members based on the data from the health assessments, biometric screenings, and claims data, captured from the wellness programs. This can help with user-specific programming from within the wellbeing programs. Also, the health plans can communicate with their members about the plan benefits, offered services, and resources.
For example, members who smoke regularly can receive specific programming for smoking cessation. If they are already working to quitting smoking, they can get some other relevant programming. With this, health plans can address specific health concerns and wellness needs of the members. Ensuring the wellness platform and the program modules can sort member programming based on user attributes can be an effective way to boost the value of the wellness program.
Health Coaching Wellness Technology
Many health plans offer health coaching programs nowadays, which typically include lifestyle management modules. In most of these programs, the coaches offer their coaching services in person or over the phone, without requiring a wellness platform. However, when the health coaches have access to suitable wellness technology and tracking modules to check member progress through the programs, it becomes the cherry on top.
Providing the health coaches with the right wellness technology like a specific coaching portal can make it easy for them to interact with the users, track progress, and give suggestions, and the employees can also check their reminders, progress, and recommendations. This makes it easy for both the coaches and the employees as they do not have to wait for each other to find the right time to interact over the phone call.
Wellness Program Customization Options
The one-size-fits-all strategy may not necessarily work well for employee wellness programs. While the turnkey solutions could still have a good chance with the smaller companies, it is imperative to have a customizable wellness program for larger organizations to ensure successful solutions. Having the ability to customize the modules and configurability of the programs can be more beneficial to the health plans too.
In addition to a customizable wellness platform, health plans should also allow the employers to configure it themselves. Although the wellness platform vendors can help with the configurations too, when the employers do it themselves, they know better what should be done and can also save time.
Communication and Program Management Tools
Ideally, good health plans have to manage plenty of employee wellness programs for their clients, and most of these employer groups may have the same fundamental wellness program parameters. And so, the administrators of the health plans must be able to set up and manage similar programs for their clients, at the same time.
Communication is one of the crucial components of successful customer management. With multiple clients at hand, health plans must be able to communicate and send out various messages to all their customer groups, or specific groups, at once. Often overlooked while choosing a corporate wellness program vendor, not having the suitable tools to communicate with multiple clients at a time with ease, could turn out to be a major drawback while having to administer many clients.
Data Integration Point
A well-designed wellness platform built using the right wellness technology is more than just a portal for employee wellness activities. For health plans, it is more like social and data integration hub. For example, just like the program administrators, even the health plans can cheer the employees on reaching their wellness milestones or upon completing their activities. The data can be fed into the wellness platform, which will automatically give credit to suitable members for their activities.
Be it for completing the step count, going to the gyms, completing online courses, connecting with a health coach, or any other wellness challenges or activities, external data must be integrated with the wellness platforms for better user-experience, ease of using the programs, and for activity tracking.
Smart health plan administrators are fully aware that employee wellness programs can add to the value of health plans and make it more attractive to their members and clients. Also, it helps in reducing healthcare costs, while keeping the business running well.