Q:

How do employee health and wellness programs differ from basic health care coverage?

A:

Quick Answer

Health and wellness programs are not part of the insurance industry and are commonly offered by the workplace. They feature a variety of packages intended to help workers maintain a healthy lifestyle and outlook, states HealthCare.gov. Insurance companies offer similar plans to their clients.

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Full Answer

To increase participation by workers, employers offer large discounts, cash premiums, memberships to gyms or yoga studios and various other perks, according to HealthCare.Gov. Health and wellness programs can be set up and controlled by the company based on issues that are likely to attract worker participation. Some examples of program topics include smoking cessation, management of diabetes and weight loss.

A 2012 study on health and wellness programs and their effects on overall employee satisfaction, well-being and productivity alerted companies to some of the direct workplace benefits, explains The Institute for HealthCare Consumerism. The study revealed that employees who regularly took advantage of the programs had higher satisfaction scores, rated themselves as happier in the workplace and were more content with their benefits package as a whole than employees who were not offered similar programs or were offered them but did not regularly participate in them. Employers should encourage and promote health and wellness programs aggressively because of their benefits to employee health and overall company health.

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