How Healthy Employees Save You Money

America is one of the most obese countries in the world. As a result, many Americans suffer from chronic illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease. On average, two-thirds of all US medical spending goes toward combatting the complications associated with these two ailments. The majority of these expenses are related to health problems resulting from unhealthy, sedentary lifestyles that compound existing issues. For example, lack of exercise and poor diet exacerbates existing health issues and leads to employees visiting the doctor’s office rather than their workplace. To mitigate the prevalence of health problems and rising medical costs, employers offer workplace wellness programs.

What are workplace wellness programs?

Workplace wellness programs range from healthy lunch and snack options in the office break room to on-site fitness centers. The aim of wellness programs is to improve the health and well-being of employees, increase their productivity, reduce their risk of costly chronic disease, and improve control of chronic conditions. These programs consist of two components: a lifestyle management program and a disease management program. Lifestyle management programs promote the idea of health promotion, which according to the World Health Organization is the process of enabling people to increase control over, and to improve, their health. The other aspect, disease management, represents a coordinated effort to help employees with an existing chronic disease to take better care of themselves to avoid serious complications associated with their disease. Workplace wellness programs have grown in popularity and now represent a $6 billion a year industry in the USA.

What saves employers money?

According to a study conducted by the Rand Corporation, the workplace wellness program itself reduces health care expenses for the employer by about $30 per member per month (PMPM). In layman’s terms, a company can save a boat load of money if they pay attention to the health needs of their employees. Of the two components, the disease management program generates the most savings PMPM because the measures implemented in this component cut the number and length of expensive hospital stays as a result of chronic disease. On the other hand, lifestyle management programs do not offer massive savings PMPM; however, one must not forget about their importance in contributing to healthy lifestyles. More employees partake in the lifestyle management programs than disease management programs and participation in lifestyle management increases productivity and reduces absenteeism, two metrics that contribute to elevated company revenues.

Benefits of workplace wellness programs.

Workplace wellness programs benefit both the employer and the employee. For the employer, these programs allow them to save money on health care costs. While statistically disease management programs ultimately save the employer more money than lifestyle management programs, there are significant benefits to both. The benefits of disease management programs are realized in a shorter term because they combat imminent health care costs. Lifestyle management programs’ benefits are more of a long-term benefit because they contribute to prevention of chronic disease down the road. Employers need to have clear-cut goals for their workplace wellness program that focus not only on disease management to mitigate health care costs but also on lifestyle management so that the people that they employ can enjoy a better quality of life that translates into increased productivity. Workplace wellness is a win for everyone involved!

Telemedicine and How it Will Change Your Claims

Telemedicine and Technology

Could a phone call change your claims?

Telemedicine is the next buzz word in the health care industry. What is Telemedicine you ask? It is a new service that carriers are offering that offers clinical health care via telecommunications. Mobile phones and computers can now help with simple medical services. More and more insurance carriers are offering this service to their members hoping to reduce the number of visits to the ER, Urgent Care Clinics, and some PCP visits. Although this service will not replace these types of visits, it is a great option for minor complaints such as cold, flu, allergies, ear infection, skin irritations, etc.

Picture this, you daughter comes home from school with a rash and slight fever. It is now 4:30 in the afternoon and you don’t want to wait until tomorrow to see the pediatrician so you set up a virtual visit with the Telemedicine vendor offered through your insurance plan. It requires you to register your insurance information, pharmacy information, symptoms, and the best time for a call back. These visits can be done on your phone or device through an app, or virtually on your computer. If the physician feels that a prescription is needed they will send the information to the pharmacy of your choice. Now, wasn’t that easier than going to the pediatrician’s office and taking time off work? The copay for virtual visits varies depending on the carrier and the plan, but the majority of copays are in the $40 range.

Currently telemedicine is a growing industry. I am hearing utilization rates of only 1.5-3.5% but this can increase with promotion. The major players in this industry are Teladoc, Doctor on Demand, and MDLive. Not sure if your carrier offers this service? Please contact me for more details and I will be happy to assist you.

Download Free Wellness Calendar

W3 Named Best Place to Work by Business Insurance

Best Place to Work - Wallace Welch & WillinghamWallace Welch & Willingham (W3) is pleased to announce that they have been named a Best Place to Work by
Business Insurance, a national publication for independent insurance agents and brokers. This is the tenth award that W3 employees have won or have been named as finalists for this year.

W3 employees participated in an independent, confidential survey by Best Companies Group, commissioned by Business Insurance, which was then analyzed based on the eight core areas believed to show company culture and employee engagement and satisfaction. These core areas are leadership and planning; corporate culture and communications; role satisfaction; work environment; relationship with supervisor; training, development and resources; pay and benefits; and overall engagement.  W3 placed  13th in the U.S. Small Employer Category. Walt Grayson, W3’s COO, stated, “The acknowledgement as “Best Place to Work” is the result of all 92 employees wanting to be a “Best Place”.  This couldn’t be done without the commitment from everyone.”  Business Insurance covers core risk management and insurance areas such as property/casualty insurance, health insurance, captive insurance and other risk management.

7 Steps for Running a Safe Foreign Mission Trip

 7 Steps for Running a Safe Foreign Mission TripPlanning Makes Perfect

Preparing for foreign travel can be a daunting task, and it may be even more overwhelming to plan a trip for a large group as part of a religious mission or nonprofit organization.

Use these tips to make sure you have all your bases covered in terms of safety before taking off. Though no one likes to think about it, you should always be prepared for the worst possible scenario while traveling.

  1. Make sure everyone in your group has the proper, location-specific immunizations.
  2. Determine beforehand whether the local water at your destination is safe to drink, and plan accordingly.
  3. Know the locations of the nearest hospital and the closest U.S. Embassy or consulate. Communicate this to the group’s family members in case of emergency.
  4. Visit the U.S. State Department website (www.state.gov) before leaving to learn about pertinent safety conditions at your destination and take any necessary action.
  5. Keep organized records of important documents for each participant. Depending on your group and its purpose, this may include signed medical release forms and liability waivers.
  6. Evaluate your insurance coverage and make sure each traveler does as well, especially if they are volunteers not covered by a group policy. Consider foreign liability insurance, foreign medical insurance and trip cancellation insurance.
  7. If you are traveling to an unfamiliar area, do not assume it will have any of the supplies you need. Pack a first aid kit that includes bandages, antibiotics, antiseptics and standard over-the-counter medications.

Ensure each participant has copies of his or her passport, credit cards, driver’s license and other important documents stored in a safe, secure location where they are readily available in case of emergency. A set of copies should be left at home with a family member or friend. Ensure each participant also has copies with them for the trip, and that they are stored away from their passport, credit cards, driver’s license and other important documents.


 

Yogurt

Can You Stomach It?

Eating yogurt daily for two weeks leading up to your trip may help prepare the stomach for unfamiliar bacteria in foreign food and drinks. Encourage trip participants to build up friendly bacteria in their body to avoid food illness.


 

About the W3 Nonprofit Division:

 

“A Greater Advantage, for a Greater Good”W3 Nonprofit Advantage

The W3 Nonprofit Advantage was created to serve those
who serve others. This division specializes in 501(c)(3) organizations such as food banks, Head Starts, churches, senior service centers and programs for the developmentally disabled. Our agents are actively involved in the community and serve on the boards of several nonprofits in the area. This division understands the unique challenges that nonprofits face every day. The agency is especially qualified to meet those challenges with exclusive “A” Rated insurance companies that specialize in nonprofit programs.