For businesses who’ve enrolled in contribution-based and self-funded structures, no reminder is needed on the importance of encouraging a healthier staff.  Many of today’s group health plans are set up in a manner that allow employers to pay only for the healthcare expenses that get used.  And this ties in closely to the 80/20 rule; where it’s understood that approximately 80 perfect of a company’s health insurance costs typically come from 20 percent of the staff.  So clearly, it just makes sense to promote initiatives that inspire better diets and healthier lifestyles.

Whether you’re the owner of the company or tasked with managing its Human Resource department, here are a few of the most popular and effective ways to reduce premiums by promoting healthier employees.

Employee Wellness Programs

There have been numerous studies done evaluating the relationship between employee health and group healthcare expenses, and just about every one suggests that a health-conscious staff is an excellent way to reduce group health insurance premiums.  Wellness campaigns can be structured in a variety of ways, including everything from staff walks and hikes, fitness goal contests, health club membership incentives and many more.  

Reward Smoking Cessation

It will come as no surprise to hear that employees who smoke account for a remarkably high percentage of employer-sponsored health care expenses.  Encouraging staff and managers to kick the habit—especially in groups such as HRA's and self-funded plans—has been shown to significantly help lower what a company will end up paying each year in healthcare costs.  Look for creative ways to reward their effort, such as PTO, bonus and other cost-effective incentives.

Exercise & Physical Activities

More and more companies are beginning to realize the benefits of hiring employees who are committed to a healthy, active lifestyle.  For long time employees, however, promoting a work environment conducive to increased physical activity can be a smart move.  This can include dedicated time for staff to workout at on-site facilities, take walks during the day, or even offering discounts on gym memberships, yoga classes and more.

Weight Loss Contests

Obesity is rampant in this country, and it ends up costing employers a great deal of both financial and human resources.  One of the most effective ways to lower group premiums is to encourage staff to achieve and maintain a healthy BMI (body mass index).  By initiating group or staff-wide weight loss contests for those who wish to participate, the friendly competition often results in better results and more determination for employees to look and feel better.  From a healthcare cost perspective, this can result in fewer visits to the doctor and less paid sick time.

Discover Other Ways to Lower Your Employee Healthcare Costs

If you’re an Illinois business or based in the Chicago area and would like to learn about additional way to lower your group health plan expenses, the experts at Premier in Lisle are here and ready to help. Get in touch by calling 800-369-0287 or write to us through our secure contact page.  

Premier is a Lisle IL based independent health insurance agency specializing in employee benefits.  There are no fees for our group services and we’ll be happy to help regardless of the nature of your inquiry.