Dollar for dollar, healthcare coverage has the biggest perceived (and real) value for employees.
At the same time, it is an employer’s biggest headache. Skyrocketing and unpredictable coverage costs which double approximately every decade have caused employers to engage in the toxic practice of downloading more and more of those coverage costs onto employees via larger and larger deductibles and employee shares of premiums. This has not only hurt morale but has caused employees and family members to forego needed care that they could not afford, which in turn exacerbates employee health, further increases premiums, and negatively impacts productivity and engagement.
The reality is that C Suite is frozen in place on this seemingly intractible problem and has no idea what to do about it. CEOs have downloaded it onto their HR Departments who in turn hire brokers and consultants who continue to tweak coverage and benefits with little impact. So they opt for more workplace wellness activity in the futile hope that it may work.
American organizations today invest upwards of $8 Billion a year in workplace wellness programs which don’t work. For the most part, those programs have not produced a Return On Investment (ROI), and many programs have actually done more harm than good due to inept design and implementation.
Many organizational leaders blame America’s “broken” healthcare delivery system, and with some justification. But there is nothing American companies can do about that. Fortunately, there IS something with companies’ control that they can do to address this conundrum. What it is NOT is traditional exercise, diet, and smoking cessation one size fits all wellness which has not worked. It involves several levels of activity which focus on two strategies: (1) on the cost side, addressing chronic illness effectively; and (2) on the productivity/engagement side, creating a workplace environment of wellbeing that facilitates employees’ ability to make long term positive lifestyle changes.
Jim Purcell is a healthcare speaker, strategist and facilitator, specializing in helping organizations
which are facing challenges with the health and wellbeing of their employees to consider a better way that will, over time, not only mitigate coverage costs, but also positively impact employee productivity, engagement, absenteeism, morale, and turnover. CEOs say that most of their top challenges involve employees–attraction and retention of top talent; engagement and productivity; and healthcare coverage costs. There IS a single unified strategy which addresses all of these fundamentally related and interconnected challenges. What Jim does is to help organizations understand this reality and to strategize the steps needed to end the malaise over employee health and take vigorous action to address this seemingly intractible issue.
Jim is not an academic observer. He is a former COO and CEO of a health insurance company. His keynote speaking, workshops, board and senior management retreats and planning sessions, and healthcare consulting draw from decades of hands on experience in all aspects of wellbeing and healthcare. He is here to help.
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