Posted May 9, 2012
Cost increases and budget limitations weigh heavily on the minds of business leaders. As the United States economy continues to limp along, showing spikes of growth in some sectors, businesses are hesitant to increase spending until they experience a market turnaround or higher demand for their products and services.
Instead, businesses continue to focus on keeping costly expenditures under control, including employee health care benefits. Many are placing an increased emphasis on wellness programs to encourage employees to pursue healthier lifestyles by:
- Participating in fitness classes and exercising regularly
- Eating nutritious foods
- Reducing health risks, such as smoking and alcohol consumption
- Scheduling health screenings to identify health risks and treatment solutions.
Studies show that employees who are healthy also are happier and perform better at work.
Research released in September 2011 by the Kaiser Family Foundation identified that the growth in health care costs correlates to higher costs for medical care, not just to an increase in the number of unhealthy Americans. The study examined the prevalence of disease and cost per case for all medical conditions between 1996 and 2006. Read the report and send us your feedback. What are the real drivers of spiraling health care costs? Are more Americans participating in unhealthy lifestyle behaviors that result in higher medical costs? Are the costs for health care services and supplies out of control? Do preventive care and wellness programs work to drive down health care expenses?