Employees are the most valuable assets of any organization. Healthy employees are happy and productive, and so, employers must focus on their happiness and wellbeing to ensure business growth. Workplace benefits and perks have become an important criterion while choosing their organizations. Previously, workplace benefits were limited to health insurance and financial reimbursements. However, they have evolved with time, and employers must redefine their benefits packages according to the latest trends to accommodate the requirements of their workforce.
Health and wellness programs are one of the most-wanted aspects of employee benefits packages.
The key objective of employee wellness programs is to foster workforce health and wellness, reflecting lower healthcare costs, higher productivity, better employee engagement, and improved overall workplace wellbeing. Healthcare costs were expected to increase by 5.3% in 2021, and studies show that lifestyle changes can save up to $92,000 per person towards medical costs. And so, to avoid such high healthcare costs, employers must start offering the right employee wellness programs that can also reduce turnover rates.
In our previous blogs, we briefed the outcomes of different studies published by Statista regarding work-related stress, workplace health and wellness stats, employee mental health outcomes, and more.
In this blog, we give a glimpse of employer-sponsored healthcare costs and about the US firms offering different health and wellness programs.
Annual Employee Healthcare Costs in the US
Statista published the outcomes of an annual employee healthcare cost study conducted by Willis Towers Watson. 610 respondents were surveyed from 2015 to 2020. The respondents were employers of at least 100 employees and collectively employed around 11.3 million full-time workers in prominent corporate sectors. The changes to the employer-offered healthcare benefits through the Affordable Care Act require employers with more than 50 employees working for them to offer affordable healthcare options.
According to the study report, the total annual healthcare costs per active employee were $11,750 in 2015, which increased to $13,087 in 2019 and $13,728 in 2020.
Another study conducted in 2009 and 2019 with 554-610 respondents showed the total healthcare costs paid by the employees and employers. In 2009, the total annual healthcare costs were $9,748, of which $2,262 was employee-paid, and $7486 was employer-paid. Similarly, in 2019, the total annual healthcare costs were $13,087, of which $3,031 was employee-paid, and $10,056 was employer-paid.
Many corporate wellness studies have proven the impact of health and wellness programs to reduce healthcare costs. And so, employers must focus on implementing the right engagement strategies to encourage healthy lifestyle habits and lead a life of holistic health.
Firms Offering Health and Wellness Programs
Both employees and employers may have to pay for the healthcare costs in the United States, depending on the industry and type of work. When individuals in the US were inquired about the kind of workplace benefits they expected from their employers, a majority of them said healthcare and wellness-related benefits. Although the demand for employer-sponsored healthcare benefits was high, many companies were not able to cater to the need.
Other studies show that many employees also expected health and wellness programs as a part of the workplace benefits package to help them adopt healthy lifestyle habits and reduce healthcare costs.
Statista published a Davis research survey about the US firms offering health and wellness programs to employees in 2021, based on the company size. The health-related programs included any kind of workplace program that helped employees quit smoking, eat healthy, lose weight, or behavioral coaching. The survey was originally published by the Kaiser Family Foundation. The study was carried out from January to July 2021 with 1,686 non-federal public and private firms through computer-assisted telephone interviews.
According to the study, all small firms with 3 – 199 workers were the least to offer health and wellness programs in 2021. While all the small firms accounted for only 58%, 83% of all large firms with 200 or more workers offered at least one kind of health-related program. 94% of US firms with 5000 or more employees were the top providers of wellness programs. On the other hand, only 57% of small firms with 3 – 49 workers offered health-related workplace programs.
Here is a glance at the firm size and percentage of firms offering health and wellness programs.
- 3 – 49 workers – 57%
- 50 – 199 workers – 70%
- 200 – 999 workers – 80%
- 1000 – 4999 workers – 92%
- 5000 and more workers – 94%
Healthcare coverage and employee benefits encourage workers to do better at work and take control of their personal lives. It improves engagement of the employee wellness programs, thus reducing healthcare costs, lower turnover rates, and fewer chronic health risks. So, it is a win-win for employees and employers.