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Unread 2013-10-02, 03:57 PM   #1
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Default Work Wellness Program

Anyone here have any experience with a wellness/health program at their work? I'm in the process of doing research and coming up with ideas to get one started at my work and I'm just looking for some more ideas or feedback.

We have a good mix of smokers, obese and unmotivated people so my main goal is to encourage participation. I've been reading stuff about health insurance premium surcharges for those who don't participate (in, say, a health assessment or regular checkup) but I'm not really in a position to enforce anything like that, nor do I want the reaction that I imagine would come from that.

Anybody?
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Unread 2013-10-02, 05:14 PM   #2
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We have one, and I just signed up for a "challenge."

I don't think I get anything other than motivation out of this one. If I read correctly, there is some kind of $150 credit towards your insurance for participation in one for 2014. (2015's insurance maybe?) You also have to get a BMI check done or something along those lines.

I just started with this company though.

The last place put money towards your out of pocket expenses which did roll over every year provided you went to the doctor for your check up each year. The amount depended on which plan you were on. I think the last year they changed it to going through their services for the lab work (which I get done at a discount through a health fair usually) and a "wellness check" i.e. blood pressure, weight, height, maybe blood sugar or something.

If I recall correctly, they might have also put money towards accepting calls for wellness coaching. You would tell them that you are interested in smoking cessation, weight loss, etc.

I would like to see money that can be used towards gym memberships, training sessions, race entry fees, kayak rentals, things like that. They're talking about something like that, but I don't know if it will come around. Not sure how they would monitor it.
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Unread 2013-10-03, 02:22 PM   #3
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I have seen a number of these through friends. I wish we had them where I work. Most rely on some sort of punishment or reward.

At my wife's old job, they had one every year, but IIRC, it wasn't an entire year long. They did a biggest loser game and did it by percentage of body weight lost. That way a 350lb person would have to lose 35 lbs and a 150 person would have to lose 15 lbs to be equal. Each week, everyone but the weeks winner, would have to put a quarter into the pot. The winner was announced and received the pot at the Christmas party at the end of the year.

A good friend of mine works for a company where they have everyone that wants to participate in the program come in and they do blood work, bmi, etc. They rank your health and it can lower your insurance premiums. There are also prizes if you come back the next year healthier.

I spoke to a gym about a corporate membership for our employees not too long ago, and the only requirement was that we send out an email advertising for them to employees once a month. Anyone that wanted to join would get a discounted rate then.

The other incentives that I have heard are basing an employee discount upon health results (like bmi) and offering better ones based on improving health. So the average discount may be 10%, but if you show continued improvement or are in a "healthy" category, you get 15% off.
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Unread 2013-10-03, 02:39 PM   #4
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This is great stuff, thanks guys. These are all along the lines of what I've been reading but I just haven't heard from anyone first-hand, though according to some study, 90% of employers have some sort of wellness program.

Keep it up! This is all very useful info for me.
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Unread 2014-07-25, 12:13 PM   #5
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I think a good, subtle way is to provide healthy alternatives around work. Have a catered in lunch consisting of healthier foods. Provide workers with fruits as snacks, and granola. Free oatmeal. Yata yata. Don't shove it in their face to be healthy, make them want to make the better choice.
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Unread 2014-07-25, 09:21 PM   #6
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I get reimbursed up to $500/yr for expenses like a gym membership, home gym equipment, etc.


I'll take it
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Unread 2014-07-26, 04:45 PM   #7
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My work gives me 450/yr for tracking my workouts. Plus I can get small amounts for getting routine check ups. Etc.
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Unread 2014-07-30, 12:40 PM   #8
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Don't do what we did, charge a 25.00 per paycheck fee to those that don't sign up. It's not going over very well in the company at the moment.
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Unread 2014-07-30, 11:22 PM   #9
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Ha, that was back when I was working at Rallysport Direct. I'm at Cerner now and their wellness program is awesome.
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Unread 2014-07-31, 06:45 PM   #10
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Don't do what we did, charge a 25.00 per paycheck fee to those that don't sign up. It's not going over very well in the company at the moment.
Do they charge a fee, or just not give a discount if they don't participate? That's how it is for me.
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Unread 2014-08-05, 09:21 AM   #11
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Don't do what we did, charge a 25.00 per paycheck fee to those that don't sign up. It's not going over very well in the company at the moment.
I don't think a fee for not participating would work well. I think it would have to be shown as a discount for those that want to do it.

At my wife's new job, they have different incentives the more you are willing to do (from a basic questionnaire to tracking workouts and attending fitness events), up to $400 per year. We did a charity 5k and ran into a lot of nurses from one of the local hospitals who said that they get sign up fees paid and a credit (not sure if it is vacation, money or what) for doing those types of things.
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Unread 2014-08-05, 10:24 AM   #12
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I wished my company paid for my gym membership. It'd let me get a 24 hour membership near my work so I can workout during my lunch break instead of fitting it in before or after work.
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Unread 2014-08-05, 12:33 PM   #13
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I get a certain amount reimbursed for my gym membership every 6 mo. At one point I was able to get an immense discount on monthly fees, so I basically get paid to work out.
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Unread 2014-08-05, 02:23 PM   #14
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I can't complain about the gym membership. I signed up with 24 hr fitness about 10+ years ago and paid 3 years upfront for all club super sport access. I didn't read the fine print, but luckily my brother did. If I maintain the yearly membership fee of just over $80, I keep it. Even if I don't go to the gym all year, I will be paying that yearly fee....
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Unread 2014-08-05, 06:45 PM   #15
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The company I work for is beta testing a program right now. So far, the response is very positive. People are too busy with many things in life. Designing a health program based off research/facts/education is something most people do not have the time or qualifications for. This particular wellness programs pairs you up with someone to aid you in those decisions. It gives people more incentive to make healthy choices.

With all that said (and as many have already pointed out), most companies that offer this rewards participants with reduced health insurance costs or something similar. I wish more companies would do this.
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