Just a Few More Wellness Program Ideas

Vol. 11 No. 8

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A recent ISM study revealed that most schools don’t offer wellness plans. We found this interesting because wellness plans help control health insurance costs—they save organizations money! The healthier your employees, the fewer health claims. It’s that simple. And, wellness programs in themselves cost very little. Here are a few ideas to consider.

Review your claims. By looking at your school’s claim data, you can get a good idea of what medical issues are affecting your personnel. You can then invite speakers to give presentations on conditions that are affecting them. For example, if you know high blood pressure is an aliment affecting your faculty and staff, you can invite someone from a local hospital or clinic to come in and discuss different stress management techniques and healthy eating that might help alleviate some of the concerns.

But, you don’t need to review claims to invite relevant speakers. If you live in an area that’s sunny most of year, such as Florida or Texas, you might consider having someone come in and talk about different skin cancers and how to detect early signs. Other topics that don’t have to be geographically or demographically determined are healthy eating, stress management, and fitness.

Offer health-risk assessments. Some health insurance providers offer personal online health-risk assessments. These are usually 80 to 120 questions based on the user's family history, eating habits, and fitness routine. They are confidential and voluntary. It’s important to remind employees that their personal information will not be shared with anyone—that their HIPPA rights will not be violated. If people are aware they’re at risk, they might make healthier daily-living decisions.

Distribute fast-food facts. Knowing how many calories are packed into that drive-thru taco or double cheeseburger just might be enough to deter someone from frequently indulging.

Partner with a local farm-to-table program. Programs offering fresh foods are popular right now with organizations of all sizes. Employees can opt to buy in at different tiers for different fresh food packages. For example, some groups offer bi-weekly deliveries of seasonal local produce and dairy to meet different family sizes. Someone who’s single might choose to have a smaller bundle delivered for $20 a month, whereas someone with a family might choose to have a larger delivery for $100 a month.

Extend wellness challenges for dependents. Most organizations exclude dependents from their wellness programs. However, if you offer health insurance for dependents, their health is affecting the number of claims. You might want to consider implementing family wellness challenges such as walking together four nights a week for at least 35 minutes over six weeks to earn a $25 gift certificate to a local restaurant, or if they get family health screenings they earn a $15 gift certificate to the movie theater.

Additional ISM resources of interest
ISM Update for Risk Managers Vol. 1 No. 2 Wellness Programs in Private-Independent Schools
ISM Monthly Update for Business Managers Vol. 9 No. 6 Setting Goals for a Healthier School
ISM Monthly Update for Human Resources Vol. 7 No. 10 Ask Michael
ISM Monthly Update for Business Managers Vol. 10 No. 8 Rises in U.S. Health Care
ISM Monthly Update for Trustees Vol. 10 No. 4 Finding Savings in Your Health Insurance Plans

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