Recent Study Shows #1 Employer Healthcare Cost Concern

by: Nichole Gunn August 9, 2011

If you were asked what your number one healthcare business concern is, what would you say? If your answer is health benefit costs, you’re not alone.

A recent study from Deloitte, the Top Five Total Rewards Priorities Survey, revealed that the majority of business leaders cited the expense of offering healthcare benefits to their workers as the number one concern. In fact, 63 percent of respondents cited that their primary focus is to mitigate overall healthcare expenses.

The ever-rising employee health benefits costs beat out other problematic healthcare issues, such as:

  • Worker reluctance to paying more toward benefit plan coverage
  • Compliance with new health reform legislation
  • Designing rewards programs that not only attract talent, but also work to motivate and retain workers
  • Creating a clear-cut alignment of the company’s business tactics and brand with its complete rewards strategy

As a result of the yearly increases to healthcare related expenses and the potential financial affect it could have on workers, 60 percent of employee respondents stated they would actively join in corporate wellness programs within the next three years. The Wellness Council of America reports that businesses earn a $3 return-on-investment (ROI) for each $1 invested in corporate health and wellness programs.

With an ROI of three-to-one, and the majority of employees willing to participate in wellness programs, this is a perfect time for businesses to consider designing and implementing their own programs.

According to the Credit Union Times, one company to take advantage of this health incentive trend is Xceed Financial Credit Union. The company had its in-house event and promotion team research and analyze wellness programs from inside and outside the industry. From the results, the committee designed its own program focusing on:

  • Weight loss
  • Physical fitness
  • Personal growth
  • Environmental awareness and efforts
  • Community involvement

To make the program enticing, the committee established a points program allotting a different number of points to different activities; the activities included: healthy cooking, team sports, carpooling, gym workouts, and donating blood. Program participants input activities daily or quarterly. The incentive: $300 was awarded to each person who attained 1,000 points at year’s end.

President and CEO of Xceed Teresa Freeborn explained, “It feels good to contribute to the health and well-being of our associates.” She went on to tell the Credit Union Times, “We want to do all we can to help stabilize insurance costs, which is why we've invested in our own custom wellness program. Any reduction in insurance fees could then be passed on to our associates."

Almost half of the participating employees, 56 of the 128, attained the 1,000 points.


About Nichole Gunn

Nichole Gunn is the VP of Marketing at Incentive Solutions, an Atlanta-based incentive company that delivers advanced, agile B2B customer loyalty and channel sales incentives programs.