NEW RESEARCH – Medical Claims Drop with Consistent Participation in a Worksite Wellness Program
A new study from the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine supports the benefits of implementing a wellness program. This study observed the 3-year impact of a large insurance company’s comprehensive, incentive-based wellness program. What the researchers found was that medical claims dropped significantly for participants that stuck with the program for all 3 years.
We know wellness is a good investment, but…
Producing a tangible ROI to company leaders has always been a difficult task for small to midsize employers. The good news for Wellness Program Consumers? Data harvesting and analysis is alive and well with wellness vendors and insurance companies, allowing employers to compare claims data against wellness program engagement to offer another perspective on their wellness program’s financial impact.
Even with studies like these, it’s important for employers to look at the Value On Investment (VOI). There is plenty of research that shows well-run, comprehensive wellness programs help with employee retention, healthy workplace culture, and team morale.
Tell me more about the study.
The Municipalities, Colleges, Schools Insurance Group had 6,810 members during 2013-2016. In 2014, the company initiated a comprehensive, incentive-based wellness program.
This study analyzed the claims data of all members from 2013-2016. Of the members, roughly 32.5% of the females and 22.9% of the males participated in the program from 2014 to 2016. In 2013, these wellness participants filed a higher number of medical claims (p = 0.0004), but their total cost of claims was similar to those who did not participate in 2014–2016. By 2016, participants in the wellness program on average filed 3.6 (p = 0.0102) fewer claims and experienced $1,346 (p = 0.0011) lower total cost of claims.
The conclusion? Even though companies may see more claims at the start of the wellness program due to increased awareness, a well-run comprehensive wellness program may produce lower number and total cost of medical claims for cohort participants over time.