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SEBINS Blog: A Fit & Healthy Bottom Line
A Fit & Healthy Bottom Line

Historically, many employers have implemented wellness programs compelled by the pains associated with rising company medical insurance premiums. These increasing premiums are due, in part, to the significant increase in risk factors of America's workforce, such as obesity, smoking, heart disease, diabetes, and aging workers.

 

Considering the Impact of these Risk Factors

Today, employers are also considering the impact of these risk factors on the medical costs of their worker’s compensation claims.

Medical costs have steadily increased during the past 20 years, accounting for nearly 58% of the total cost of worker’s compensation claims in 2009*. According to the Insurance Information Institute, if this increasing trend holds, medical costs will account for up to 67% of total costs of worker's compensation claims by 2019.

Workers compensation premiums are one of the largest operational expenses for many employers. While any risk factor may potentially affect the cost of a worker’s compensation claim, obesity and related diseases top the chart.

A National Council of Compensation Insurance (NCCI) study concludes that medical costs for the same injury are 3Xs higher among obese claimants in the first year, increasing to 5Xs higher at 60 months. In addition, claims for the non-obese are much more likely to be "medical only". For the same injury and all else being equal, the range of medical treatment, the costs, and the duration of the claim are consistently greater for obese employees.*

 

Controlling Workers Compensation Claim Costs

Implementing a workplace wellness program can help employers control worker's compensation claim costs by:

  • Generating a reduction in return-to-work days
  • Reduction in frequency and severity of claims
  • Increase in staff productivity.

 Wellness programs provide mechanisms that aid employees in adopting healthier lifestyles and help educate them on reducing or eliminating their risk factors.

 

Rewards for Creating Awareness

 Creating awareness of health benefits, as well as introducing an interdisciplinary wellness program into a company’s workplace, has multiple benefits, such as:

 1. Helping to control costs. An investment in employees' health may lower health care and medical costs associated with workers’ compensation claims. A wellness program also encourages employees with health risk factors to make lifestyle changes to improve their quality of life and lower costs. The payoff in dollars, as well as in quality of life, can have a big impact on your company's bottom line.

2. Healthier employees are more productive. This has been demonstrated in factory settings and in office environments in which workers with workplace wellness initiatives miss less work. Presenteeism is reduced in workplaces that have wellness programs.

 3. Healthier employees miss less work. Companies that support wellness and healthy decisions have a greater percentage of employees at work every day. Because health frequently carries over into better family choices, employees may miss less work caring for ill family members. The cost savings of providing a wellness program can be measured against reduced overtime to cover absent employees and other aspects of absenteeism.

 4. Improved morale and enhanced image for the organization. A company that cares about its employees' health is often seen as a better place to work. Those companies save money by retaining workers who appreciate the benefit of a wellness program and also by attracting new employees in a competitive market.

 

Resources

 We understand that for many companies these topics are fresh on agendas and presentations.

 Contact a SEBINS representative at 877.766.5464, for resources and material for your next health & wellbeing or safety meeting to insure you are not left out of these benefits!