Study: Employees want wellness programs with personal coaching

Dive Brief:

  • A HealthFitness study found that Wellness program participants want a personalized experience, such as coaching, along with innovative technology. Wellness programs that provide both can attract and retain participants. 
  • The study also revealed that personal coaching drives as much as 70% of medical cost savings in wellness programs, improves health outcomes and results in high satisfaction for participants.
  • About 30% of HealthFitness’s wellness program clients enroll in coaching, says HealthFitness. Program participants with coaches save on average $586 or 11.3% of medical costs, while participants in non-coaching programs save $261 or 5.2% of medical costs.

Dive Insight:

Employers must weigh the cost of offering benefits, including wellness programs, versus their return on investment, or how many participants sign up for the benefit to make the offering a worthwhile expense.  Incentives that increase participation in wellness programs can help employers meet or exceed their ROI.

The EEOC recently clarified rules over such incentive programs to ease the confusion that sprung between laws outlined in the ACA, ADA and GINA. Wellness program incentives can amount to as much as 30% of the cost of single coverage if employers request health information.

Coaching could join other healthcare trends, given its considerable cost-savings. It's also been an increased focus of new wellness apps and wellness concierge services. If subsequent studies show results similar to HealthFitness’s, employers could make coaching a mainstay of wellness programs.   

Filed Under: HR Management Comp & Benefits
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