Attracting Employees’ Family Members to Wellness Activities

dependent care

Across the nation, increasing numbers of employees are participating in wellness programs. In turn, employers are reaping the benefits of healthy employees who are taking fewer sick days and demonstrating higher levels of on-the-job performance.

According to the Hewitt studies on wellness programs, businesses average a 3-to-1 return on investment (ROI). Some even have experienced an ROI of as much as 15 times greater. Studies by health experts also have identified that employers with comprehensive wellness programs for individuals with health-risk factors have enjoyed a 10 to 15 percent decrease in health care costs in the first 12 months of the program.

Many employers also are focusing on involving employees’ family members in wellness programs. According to the American Institute for Preventive Medicine, health care expenses for employees account for only 30 percent of employers’ benefit costs. The other 70 percent is attributed to medical expenses accumulated by dependent family members. To bring health care costs under control, employers need to develop wellness programs that not only reach their employees, but also insured spouses and family members. The plans should be packaged creatively to capture interest and garner participation by identifying numerous opportunities for family members to pursue healthier lifestyle habits.

Last year Human Resource Executive Online featured an article on Engaging Employees’ Families identifying how businesses can develop wellness programs with complementary activities for insured family members. Read the article and tell us what you think. Are wellness programs working? How can employers get insured family members involved?