Your company likely offers a suite of wellness benefits that are part of your employee insurance plan. Many of these benefits involve wellness programs and perks that can enhance both your mental and physical well-being. We’ve asked two experts about how to maximize these benefits.

Why are companies offering health and wellness benefits?

Koleen Cavanaugh, vice president of marketing at Independence Blue Cross, says that its mission is to enhance the health and well-being of the people it serves, including all aspects of well-being from physical and mental to financial.

"By focusing on whole-person health, we can help address the full range of our community’s health needs through integrated care," Cavanaugh tells FOX Business. 

Cavanaugh reports that six in 10 Americans are living with at least one chronic condition, like heart disease or diabetes, so it’s more important than ever to help guide and empower employees to take a more active role in improving their health and well-being.

"What’s even more alarming is that these chronic conditions, such as hypertension or diabetes, including behavioral health conditions account for 90% of U.S. health care costs and also result in 1.4 billion days of absence and illness-related lost productivity annually," she says. "That’s why it’s important to us that employees understand and use their health benefits in a way that supports their health and well-being."

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Worried businessman lamenting in front of a computer after a big mistake at office (iStock / iStock)

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How does a person learn about their insurer’s or company’s wellness program/offerings?

To find out what wellness benefits are available, a good place to start is your company’s human resources department. 

"This should be easily accessible for employees, as it’s meant to be an added benefit that the company offers through their insurer," explains Erin Lau, director of service operations at Insperity. 

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She says that medical, dental and vision offerings should be part of the immediate onboarding process due to their significance.

"If the employee is having difficulty learning about the added offerings, then they should reach out to HR and either have them directly notify them of the program or point them in the right direction where they can find the requested information," says Lau.

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If an employee is struggling to find out more details about a specific program, Erin Lau recommends talking to HR. The Human Relations department at your firm should be able to direct you towards the tools you need. (iStock / iStock)

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What are some typical benefits in the marketplace?

According to Lau, some common wellness perks include gym memberships, nutritionists, and health coaching and these benefits can take shape in a monthly stipend or a number of sessions granted per year.

"This tends to be much less expensive and less of a liability than companies having on-site gyms or hired coaches," Lau tells FOX Business. "We are also seeing a much greater emphasis on mental health offerings, such as therapists or mindfulness apps. In today’s environment, employees are searching for more generous offerings, including fertility benefits and extended PTO."

Other benefits can include virtual workouts, which Lau explains are "definitely more prominent now than ever." Furthermore, more examples include smoking cessation programs, financial management classes, stress reduction, caregiver programs, and employee sports leagues, notes Lau. "All of these are meant to encourage healthy lifestyles and develop strong connections and relationships," she continues.

Benefits can include gym memberships or virtual workouts such as Peloton, which became increasingly popular during the pandemic.

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How do employers benefit? 

A big reason for wellness offerings, says Lau, is to act as a differentiator among competitors.

"These offerings not only help with employee attraction, but also tend to help with employee retention," Lau says.

On top of recruiting, employers benefit from lower health care costs, less employee sick days due to physical or mental health issues, increased productivity, and company culture tends to boost, as employees can participate in a number of these activities together, such as employee sports leagues, Lau says.

Most importantly, she says, companies offer benefits because they are a huge component of having a healthy and happy workforce.

"In today’s work environment, it has become a differentiator and a total employee experience offering which helps in recruitment efforts," Lau says.

Source Link:
https://www.foxbusiness.com/lifestyle/corporate-health-perks-how-to-take-advantage-all-your-companys-offerings

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