In 2011, health care reform is on everyone’s mind. With an uncertain future, it becomes difficult to ensure that necessary medical coverage will be available and affordable to every American worker.
Subsequently, many Plano employers are thinking ahead at the changes to Obama’s health care plan, and how it will financially impact them. According to SHRM, HR professionals are still trying to comprehend the sweeping changes that emerged from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. Several provisions of the law took effect in late 2010, and more have now arrived in 2011. These provisions will add to the tasks of benefits specialists and other HR professionals. The new rules in 2011 may increase health care costs for some employers, creating a potential need to expand coverage options this year and beyond. Other changes resulting from the law will require those in the HR function to keep a closer eye on tax-free savings accounts, the overall coverage eligibility of workers and their children, certain medical procedures, and other aspects of their employers’ health care offerings.
While we cannot guess what is around the corner with health care, companies are looking at preventative measures to encourage a healthily workforce, rather than waiting for Congress to seal their financial fate. It’s one solution that may pay dividends. According to Kersh Wellness every $1 spent on employee health and wellness saves a company three dollars.
Here’s where health and wellness plans come in. Incentives encourage staff to adopt positive behaviors or maintain an existing positive behavior that may potentially help the worker stay healthy and live longer. Adopting positive health behavior is fundamentally what wellness is about. It’s a cultural shift within an organization. Some companies are considering health and wellness programs to add to their benefit program. Although health and wellness plans are considered an additional upfront expense by CFO’s, they seem to be a preventative solution for organizations. The scuttle butt among the upper ranks of corporate America is the fear of the looming health care costs that are continuously going up and they are forced to pass rising costs onto the employees. In turn, employees now savvy to how much they may need to pay out for medical packages consider this carefully before taking a new job. Salary is no longer the motivator for employees. It’s the health care plan and coverage or lack thereof that makes their decision final.
Goodman Networks subscribes to the theory that employee wellness should be a priority. Goodman Networks, a growing, privately held telecommunications company offers Health and Wellness programs to employees, and includes a gym membership at a low out of pocket cost to employees. Furthermore, the gym is located near the company, making getting away from their cubes just a little bit easier. Statistics show that employees that spend 3-5 hours a week at a health club tend to have fewer illnesses overall.
Will health and wellness plans offset the rising health care costs? It’s hard to say, but it’s worth a shot.