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Posted September 20, 2012 by

Wellness Programs Reduce Medical Costs, Increase Productivity, and Reduce Absenteeism

Amy Kaminski of Compdata SurveysIn 2012, roughly two-thirds of manufacturing and distribution industry employers experienced increases to their medical insurance premiums, according to the 2012 Compensation Data Manufacturing & Distribution survey results. The average increase reported by these organizations was 10.2 percent, down from 11 percent reported in 2011. Despite the drop in the average premium increase, manufacturing and distribution organizations still contribute 10.5 percent of their total payroll costs toward providing medical insurance to their employees. Employers everywhere are looking for ways to curtail rising healthcare costs and as a result, many are turning to wellness programs.

For years, wellness programs have consisted of traditional options such as weight management, tobacco cessation programs or offering flu shots and immunizations. But over the last few years, some wellness options have shown a more accelerated rate of use. Biometric screenings, which measure an individual’s blood pressure, body mass index (BMI), cholesterol and blood glucose in an effort to identify risk factors, are a good example of this trend. In 2009, biometric screenings were offered at only 17.4 percent of manufacturing and distribution organizations surveyed, compared to 44.2 percent in 2012. Physical fitness facility access, on-site health clinics and offering rewards and incentives have also increased over the last few years. (more…)