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Monday, 10 December 2018 12:09

Top Four Wellness Plan Tips for 2019

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Most Employers running a wellness program already have their 2019 game plan in place. For those that don’t, or if you are just starting to implement a program, here are some top thoughts and trends to consider.

1. Promote Accessibility of Care and Health Care Education

Fall River has been helping our clients create savvy consumers of health care for 13 years, but more education is always needed. Medical carriers have a wealth of information available on their websites or mobile sites, however these tools are drastically underused. Most have a telemedicine feature, as well as a 24-Hour Nurse Line and an Urgent Care finder. There are even Cost Comparison tools that help direct members to the best doctors and facilities that can also save the member and the plan money. It often helps to offer several education sessions and reminders about these valuable health care tools. We recommend premium incentives, where members pay less if they participate and more if they don’t, as they are often the best way to get members to download apps and stay engaged in their health care.

2. Advocate for Mental Health, Self-Care, and Financial Strength

Most employer wellness programs have originated by promoting physical wellbeing as the primary focus, as this is known to be the main driver of health care claims. Trends in telemedicine and other areas are looking toward improving the mental health of American workers. In our busy society it’s difficult to make time to take care of ourselves, but it’s so important to overall worker happiness and job performance. Since financial stress can also take a large toll on the productivity of the workforce, a wellness program that includes financial education and services will be powerful.

3. Personalize the Employee Experience

With all the technology available today, there are several ways employers can make their wellness program more personalized. Carrier tools are being revamped with a focus on gamifying and personalizing their offerings, and these free resources should be heavily promoted. Employers can offer a wellness survey to understand the opinions and needs of their specific employee population. Employers can also access any carrier data available from health questionnaires, biometric screenings, and online wellness platforms to craft the most impactful topics for their wellness programs.

4. Always Consider Compliance

There are several legal concerns that employers should be aware of. For background, Fall River has several past posts detailing the history of wellness rules under several legal entities. Click here for our most recent update and a link to the history.

  • This latest news surrounding the EEOC’s maximum incentive of 30% being vacated by the federal court is effective January 1, 2019. The EEOC needs to revisit their regulations, but with some empty seats on the EEOC board, this may not happen until 2021.

  • In the face of uncertainty surrounding incentives, the general opinion of industry experts is that employers offering voluntary wellness programs with incentives no more than 10-15% of the cost of coverage for participation are most likely safe from penalties until the EEOC can revisit their proposed policy.

Fall River is always monitoring the pulse of the industry, so stayed tuned for more timely updates on Wellness Program regulations. If you would like assistance with your 2019 Wellness Program, contact your Fall River Client Manager today!


Check out more resources here:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/alankohll/2018/12/12/7-employee-wellness-trends-and-opportunities-for-2019/#5e5c8ae534d5

https://www.benefitspro.com/2018/11/28/4-trends-in-employee-wellness-programs-for-2019/

https://news.leavitt.com/health-care-reform/wellness-programs/wellness-program-incentive-amounts-for-2019-what-to-do/

https://benefitadvisorsnetwork.com/blog/legal-alert-court-vacates-eeocs-wellness-program-incentives-rules-effective-january-1-2019/

Read 897 times Last modified on Wednesday, 19 December 2018 09:31
Tonya Young

Tonya is our Senior Account Manager and brings eleven years of prior insurance company expertise to Fall River, having worked at Anthem Blue Cross and Great-West Healthcare (now part of CIGNA). Tonya holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Texas A&M University. Originally from Minnesota, she loves the Colorado outdoors and enjoys family time with her young daughter.