Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Wellness Programs Are Beneficial to Employers And Employees

In an effort to improve the general health of their employees, employers have been offering wellness programs to employees. Among the programs’ most important components are help with diet and exercise. These programs aim to keep employees healthy and lower health care costs. Medical weight loss centers may be able to play an important role in these programs by joining with organizations that deliver wellness programs and with employers who purchase the programs.

More and more, experts believe that putting wellness programs in place may enable organizations to be more profitable by improving employee health. In fact, according to the organization, U.S. Preventive Medicine, an effective wellness Program can yield a $1.00 to $3.00 return on investment.

And according to Right Management, a subsidiary of Manpower Inc., an organization’s wellness program can improve the organization’s competitive edge by increasing employee productivity and performance.

Further, some insurance providers see the benefits of offering wellness programs. CIGNA has just purchased Kronos Optiman Health Company, a Phoenix-based health and wellness company. This acquisition will enable CIGNA to expand its wellness program offerings, including its online services.

To make a wellness program more effective, program leaders will often ask for a participant's medical history, and inquire about family illnesses. As an incentive to employees, some medical information obtained may be used in decisions to lower or raise health insurance premiums, or establish monetary employee awards.

But using medical information to give monetary awards or raise or lower health insurance premiums may conflict with the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008. This act provides "protections against discrimination based on an individual's genetic information in health insurance coverage and employment settings."

But still, effective wellness programs are proving to be beneficial to the employer and the employee. The employer gets a more engaged and productive employee. And the employee will likely pay less out-of-pocket for health care, and the employee will have a higher quality of life.

Because wellness programs are beneficial, medical weight loss centers may be able to work with employers and wellness program organizers to help find ways to use the medical information without discriminating against any group or anyone in the group. It's worth a shot, and this activity may give a weight loss center a competitive advantage.

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March 5, 2010 at 5:11 PM  
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March 9, 2010 at 1:58 PM  
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March 12, 2010 at 9:01 PM  
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March 17, 2010 at 6:51 AM  
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March 18, 2010 at 6:17 AM  

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