MERCER SURVEY SHOWS EMPLOYERS FACE A 4.3% INCREASE IN 2018 US HEALTH
BENEFIT COST, HIGHEST SINCE 2011!
Since the 1980s, the prevalence of chronic diseases and unhealthy lifestyle behaviors among American adults has drastically increased. In the US working population, one-third of adults are obese, approximately 1 in 5 is a smoker, and more than half do not meet physical activity recommendations
The General Social Survey of 2016, a nationwide survey that since 1972 has tracked the attitudes and behaviours of American society, found that 50 percent of respondents are consistently exhausted because of work, compared with 18 percent two decades ago.
Absenteeism costs associated with chronic diseases and health risk factors can be substantial. Employers may incur these costs through lower productivity, and employees could incur costs through lower wages.
Employee absenteeism due to poor health costs U.S. businesses an estimated $84 billion a year in lost productivity, according to a new study. The annual cost ranges from $24.2 billion in professional fields to $160 million among agricultural workers.
Americans are more concerned than ever about obesity and the obesity rate has remained largely unchanged for years. Other chronic conditions also persist, largely unabated.
For American workers in particular, the cost of above-normal weight and other chronic conditions due to absenteeism is substantial, amounting to an estimated $153 billion per year across the entire U.S. workforce.
Employers must also contend with cost increases that occur with medical advances – like the introduction of new medications used to treat complex conditions like cancer, multiple sclerosis, and hepatitis C. Respondents to Mercer’s survey reported that spending on these specialty drugs rose by about 15% at their last renewal, pushing up growth in the overall cost of prescription drugs to more than 7%.
With the current economic landscape causing higher health care costs, employee wellness is of upmost importance.
Workplace wellness programs have potential to reduce both medical and absenteeism costs and they are important partners in improving health.
A comprehensive analysis of 42 published studies of worksite health promotion programs showed that companies that implemented an effective wellness program realised significant cost reductions and financial gains, including:
- An average of 28 percent reduction in sick days
- An average of 26 percent reduction in health costs
• An average of 30 percent reduction in workers’ compensation and disabilitymanagement claimsWhile improving employee health and reducing absenteeism initially benefit employers and employees, a healthy workforce and an increase in productivity are national resources with benefits that extend beyond private sector employers and their employees.Corporate Wellness Programs are simply a valuable tool for cutting health care expenses. Proactive approaches to wellness are now widely accepted as both cost-effective and necessary for successful benefits programs.
Positive Vitality offers a wide range of Corporate Wellness Services tailored to your company needs.