Employers remain bullish on wellness in the health reform era
There might be a debate over the effectiveness of wellness programs (http://tinyurl.com/Al-Lewis-wellness), but it doesn’t seem to resonate with employers. In an era where most employees are gratified to get a raise of 5% or more, companies increased the average amount they spend on wellness programs per employee by 15% in 2014 from 2013, according to a survey of about 150 companies of various sizes and a wide range of industries. That comes out to an average of $594 per worker.
It’s not just the big employers that have signed on. Companies with 5,000 or fewer employees saw the largest increase; the average spent per employee on wellness climbed to $595, compared with $444 in 2013.
In the health reform era, where so much seems in flux, many employers plan to keep with wellness through whatever might come; 93% plan to either expand or maintain their wellness programs. Meanwhile, 44% say that they’ll maintain or increase their wellness programs even if they move away from direct involvement in employer-sponsored health care.
Source: “Employer Investments in Improving Health,” the National Business Group on Health and Fidelity Investments, February 2014