July 1st, 2021
It pays for employers to help employees to take control of their health, and take preventative measures to avoid the chronic health issues that affect so many Americans.
This is why so many employers have added employee wellness or wellbeing programs to their benefits plans. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, 84% of employers with 200+ employees that offered health benefits also offered a wellness program in 2019. These wellness programs vary in structure and contents, but typically offer incentives for employees to eat well, exercise, limit unhealthy habits, and reduce stress.
Wellness programs are not a new concept, but they have been evolving over time, as we’ve expanded our collective understanding of what wellness really means -- and how the stresses of work and life impact our ability to maintain our wellbeing.
Wellness programs are an investment in the health of your people, but not all investments will have the same impact or be as universally beneficial to your employees. As you are working to add or expand your company’s employee wellness program, it’s important to consider which benefits will actually have the greatest impact on your employees’ wellbeing.
Offering Paytient as a benefit to your employees is a low-cost, high-impact way to improve your employees’ physical and financial wellness. Here’s why you should consider making it the cornerstone of your wellness program.
When we think of wellness, we often think of physical health: Eating well, exercising, sleeping well, limiting unhealthy habits, and taking other preventative measures to maintain the health of our physical body.
And while these elements of wellness are important, they are just one piece of a much larger, and more complicated puzzle. There are eight dimensions of wellness according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): Emotional, Spiritual, Intellectual, Physical, Environmental, Financial, Occupational, and Social.
An effective employee wellness program will help to promote wellness in as many of these as possible. Some of these dimensions are, understandably, easier for an employer to tackle than others.
There are a number of ways for employers to create and structure wellness programs. While some companies opt for all-encompassing programs, providing generous on- and off-site services, many companies are increasingly transitioning towards a customized model in an effort to provide a cost-effective, yet well-rounded program that is best suited to their specific employee community. A recent report by Johns Hopkins Institute for Health and Productivity Studies and the Transamerica Center for Health Studies provides a breakdown of some of the latest research on workplace programs. Some components of an effective wellness program included are:
- Creating a comprehensive workplace wellness strategy--offering a range of services and options over a longer period will yield much more effective participation and greater impact on your employees health compared to one-off challenges, such as an annual pedometer challenge or 5k race.
- Providing tools and resources to help employees track and change their behaviors--incorporating employee assistance programs are crucial for creating change through establishing new habits or stopping harmful behaviors
- Utilizing health screening surveys to identify health risks and intervention opportunities
- Tailoring rewards or financial incentives towards health behavior rather than short-term health outcomes--use payouts to help employees improve behaviors, such as expanding transit subsidies to include bike sharing, or reimbursing gym memberships.
- Incorporating health into the company culture and values--companies should seek ways to embed a total health model into every aspect of the business, such as through flexible work schedules, social support, enforcing health-promoting policies, and creating a healthy physical environment in the office through food offerings, staircases, or treadmill desks.
Offering Paytient to your employees gives them a resource they can use again and again to increase their physical and financial wellness.
The intersection of physical and financial wellness is a natural place for employers to offer value, because it is an area in which employers already hold significant influence. And it’s also an area where a lot of Americans struggle.
Stress has well-documented and devastating impacts on physical and mental well-being. Adults who are struggling to pay off debt are three times more likely to suffer from a mental health disorder, and twice as likely to report poor overall health. Even short-term debt has a considerable impact, carrying the highest risk of depression. While certain groups are more prone to higher or chronic debt-related stress, a survey released by the American Psychological Association (APA) found that most Americans, 72 percent, are stressed about their finances, with 22 percent extremely stressed.
This is one area where employers can step in and offer practical solutions to improve employee financial and physical wellness. Some employers will offer to contribute to (or match contributions to) HSAs as part of their wellness program. However, research into HSA utilization has shown that the people who need financial assistance the most, cannot afford to contribute to HSAs.
A more cost-effective and impactful way to help employees afford their care is to offer Paytient as a benefit. For just a few dollars a month per employee, Paytient gives employees a healthier way to pay for their care. Paytient gives employees the ability to pay for their care at the time of service, and then pay it off over time, interest free for up to a year.
Paytient gives employers a practical, low-cost way to improve the physical and financial wellbeing of their employees. By giving employees a healthier way to pay for their medical, vision, dental, and even veterinary care, employers can have an immense impact on the overall wellbeing of their employees.
To learn more about Paytient, contact our sales team.Back to all posts