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Incentives in Wellness Programs Continue to Grow

incentives-in-wellness-programs

The use of incentives in wellness programs continues to increase, rising to 87% this year, up from 77% two years ago. According to Optum’s Fifth Annual Wellness in the Workplace Study, 90% of large employers now offer incentives. It comes as no surprise with employers seeing an increased urgency for results in employee engagement.

The Workplace Study is based on 545 employers that offer wellness programs of one kind or another. 60% of employers participating in the survey have at least 3,000 employees, 20% having between 100 and 2,999, and 20% have fewer than 100.

Here are some of the major highlights of the study:

  • 64% of large employers offer incentives to employee family members
  • 79% of wellness programs feature biometric screening, health challengers, health assessments, and smoking cessation
  • Between 50% and 66% of employers provide incentives for wellness coaching, health websites, disease management, and healthy pregnancy programs
  • 38% of employers contribute to HSAs, HRAs or HIAs
  • 34% of employers reduce health care premiums
  • 29% of employers offer gift cards
  • 16% of employers offer cash incentives
  • 57% of employers offer incentives for employees to complete a wellness program

Employee physical health is the most dominant focus of wellness programs, but an interesting 64% targeted on mental health, 35% on financial health, and 31% on social health.

Check out all the details of the Wellness in the Workplace Study by Optum Resource Center for Health & Wellness here.

Jennifer DiPietro has been managing B2B gift card programs since 2010. A lover of social media, she has recently decided to get back into blogging as well as delve deeper into the world of marketing. Native to New England, she enjoys the beauty of the coast, but also loves the cold, snowy winters. She is obsessed with Boston sports and the Denver Broncos.

Boosting Wellness Program Participation

Regular medical checkups and tests can help spot issues before they become expensive to treat complications. One Florida school district has launched a wellness rewards points program that has been showing phenomenal results. To obtain a $50 reduction in premium, employees just have to earn 300 points a year, and points are quite easy to obtain.

Points are earned through a variety of health related activities like,

  • 100 points for an online health risk assessment
  • 100 points for blood testing to measure cholesterol and glucose
  • 100 points for a physical, colonoscopy, mammogram, or completing an online coaching program for weight loss, nutrition or stress management

85% of employees in the district now get annual physicals, more than a 50% increase since the launch of the program. More than 16,000 employees now complete an online health assessment, where 6 years ago the number of employees participating was just 25!

The wellness program has had a positive effect on reducing overall healthcare costs for the district. In just two years, hospital admission rates dropped from almost 70 per 1000 to 61 per 1000 (covered employees) and overall monthly medical spending dropped 7% during this same time period. Diabetes is also a primary concern for the district. About 33% of participants have diabetes with additional complications and participants in the diabetes category saw a 39% decrease in medical spending and have saved the school district approximately $6.5 million dollars since the inception of the program in 2011. More consistent care and follow-up has been directly attributed to the rewards program.

While a financial incentive such as a premium reduction will not work for all companies due to legal ramifications, these types of points based wellness programs have been shown to be just as successful with a gift card as an incentive. Gift cards allow employees to choose the rewards that are best suited to their interests and will be most motivating to them. They also take the guesswork out of selecting the proper incentive to reward employees with and many gift cards offer co-branding with a company logo.

GiftCard Partners carries many “healthy” gift card brands that help to enhance your rewards program, including CVS/pharmacy, Whole Foods Market, and GNC!

Click here to learn more!

Jennifer DiPietro has been managing B2B gift card programs since 2010. A lover of social media, she has recently decided to get back into blogging as well as delve deeper into the world of marketing. Native to New England, she enjoys the beauty of the coast, but also loves the cold, snowy winters. She is obsessed with Boston sports and the Denver Broncos.

Boston Market Takes On a Health-Conscious Menu

For the last several years, Boston Market has worked to create a menu that boasts more nutritious selections while still offering the same great taste. In a campaign committed to reducing sodium levels by 20% in their menu items, they removed salt shakers from their tables in 2012. While the sodium levels dropped in menu staples, 26% in mashed potatoes, 20% in stuffing, gravy by 50% and cornbread by 30%, sales have not.* The holiday sales this year increased 17%.

In January 2014, Boston Market continued their health movement with the announcement of “Meals Under 550 Calories,” a menu offering more than 100 calorie-conscious options just in time for new years weight loss resolutions.

“At Boston Market, we are committed to ensuring our guests enjoy delicious, home style cooking that can be part of a healthier diet,” said George Michel, CEO of Boston Market (a.k.a. “The Big Chicken”). “Modifying our recipes to create healthier options, without sacrificing taste, is another way we deliver on our mission to provide guests wholesome foods they can feel good about eating and sharing with their families.”**

Interested in gift cards? Boston Market gift cards are redeemable at more than 458 locations nationwide and are available in volume discounts.

*Boston Market Offers Health Conscious Consumers More Than 100 Meals Under 550 Calories,  Press Release 01/08/14

**Boston Market Reduces Sodium in Key Menu Items – And No One Notices, Press Release 02/17/14

Lauren is the Marketing Specialist here at GiftCard Partners. She enjoys all things marketing and design related. Learning about the newest trends and technologies in the b2b gift card world and seeing how we can use them to develop the best experience for our audience and reader base is our goal.

Welcome 2014! Welcome Healthy Employees?

We all wish for a Happy and Healthy New Year.  But, is your workplace doing all it can to promote and improve employee health and wellness?

Register to view our on-demand webcast and learn what you need to know about complying with the latest Healthcare Reform laws and regulations for 2014, when implementing incentives to your corporate health and wellness program.

Gift Card Partners, in conjunction with CVS/pharmacy and the Employer Healthcare Congress present: Wellness in the Corporate Environment and Complying with PPACA; How to Build a Successful Gift Card Incentive Program

How do you plan to improve your workplace health and wellness in 2014?

Established in 2004, GiftCard Partners is an award-winning leader and outsourced solution provider for merchant B2B gift card programs through key distribution channels.

Last 2 Days to Register: WEBINAR – Complying with PPACA & Building a Successful Incentive Program

Join Gift Card Partners and CVS/pharmacy on Tuesday November 19th, at 2:00 PM EST, as we host a live webinar in conjunction with the Employer Healthcare & Benefits Congress titled: Wellness in the Corporate Environment and Complying with PPACA; How to Build a Successful Gift Card Incentive Program. Presenting will be Ralph Lardieri, wellness manager, Wawa, Inc., Judith Wethall, shareholder, Littler, Finn Pressly, Associate, Mendelson and moderating the Q&A session will be Edward Shulkin, president, GiftCard Partners. How do you plan to improve your workplace wellness program in 2014?

About the webinar
Tuesday November 19th, at 2:00 PM EST: Wellness programs are an effective method to maintain group health plan costs and motivate employees to take control of their health, while assisting employees to lead happier, healthier and more productive lives. Employers seek solutions by offering incentives that are tangible, easily accessible and tailored to the employees work/life balance for voluntary participation.

Prior to the passage of the Affordable Care Act, navigating the legal landscape of wellness programs and incentives could be treacherous. However, the Affordable Care Act seemed to be a clear endorsement of standards-based wellness programs by the government. PPACA generated even more opportunities to get creative with these wellness programs, but it is important to understand the risks.

We will address:

  • Changing an employee’s poor health habits by providing powerful motivators
  • Creative strategies on how to implement a successful corporate wellness program utilizing gift card incentives
  • The permitted incentives for standards-based wellness programs, and the associated
  • requirements to ensure PPACA compliance
  • Other laws that might impact wellness programs, including the ADA and GINA
  • Rewards and consequences that employers may face using gift card incentives

Who Should Attend:

  • Agents
  • Brokers
  • Consultants
  • Human Resources Executives
  • TPA
  • MGUS
  • PBMS
  • Insurance companies
  • Health plans
  • Government agencies
Established in 2004, GiftCard Partners is an award-winning leader and outsourced solution provider for merchant B2B gift card programs through key distribution channels.

WEBINAR: Complying with PPACA & Building a Successful Incentive Program

Join Gift Card Partners and CVS/pharmacy as we host a live webinar in conjunction with the Employer Healthcare & Benefits Congress titled: Wellness in the Corporate Environment and Complying with PPACA; How to Build a Successful Gift Card Incentive Program. Presenting will be Ralph Lardieri, wellness manager, Wawa, Inc., Judith Wethall, shareholder, Littler, Finn Pressly, Associate, Mendelson and moderating the Q&A session will be Edward Shulkin, president, GiftCard Partners.



About the webinar
Tuesday November 19th, at 2:00 PM EST: Wellness programs are an effective method to maintain group health plan costs and motivate employees to take control of their health, while assisting employees to lead happier, healthier and more productive lives. Employers seek solutions by offering incentives that are tangible, easily accessible and tailored to the employees work/life balance for voluntary participation.

Prior to the passage of the Affordable Care Act, navigating the legal landscape of wellness programs and incentives could be treacherous. However, the Affordable Care Act seemed to be a clear endorsement of standards-based wellness programs by the government. PPACA generated even more opportunities to get creative with these wellness programs, but it is important to understand the risks.

We will address:

  • Changing an employee’s poor health habits by providing powerful motivators
  • Creative strategies on how to implement a successful corporate wellness program utilizing gift card incentives
  • The permitted incentives for standards-based wellness programs, and the associated
  • requirements to ensure PPACA compliance
  • Other laws that might impact wellness programs, including the ADA and GINA
  • Rewards and consequences that employers may face using gift card incentives

Who Should Attend:

  • Agents
  • Brokers
  • Consultants
  • Human Resources Executives
  • TPA
  • MGUS
  • PBMS
  • Insurance companies
  • Health plans
  • Government agencies
Established in 2004, GiftCard Partners is an award-winning leader and outsourced solution provider for merchant B2B gift card programs through key distribution channels.

Medicaid & Medicare Programs Adopt Healthy Rewards

As the country moves closer and closer to individual healthcare insurance requirements, Medicare and Medicaid are becoming pivotal in the American health care system. U.S. Medicaid and Medicare programs examine and implement health and wellness trends and incentives closely. Wellness incentives and healthy rewards are used in these programs to:

  • Decrease the cost of care to patients over the long
  • Encourage regular physicals and other health-related milestones to keep patients out of the emergency room
  • Encourage members to comply with health and wellness programs
  • Provide gift card incentives and rewards as motivators

GCP provides the right healthy rewards and healthy gift card incentives, to help motivate and reward members for gaining and maintaining healthy behaviors. Click here to learn more>>

Established in 2004, GiftCard Partners is an award-winning leader and outsourced solution provider for merchant B2B gift card programs through key distribution channels.

Introducing Yo-Fi Wellness – The Latest in Wellness Gifts for Employees

Yo-Fi Wellness is churning some serious waves in the sea of corporate wellness incentives! As employer healthcare costs continue to rise; innovative wellness incentives continue to offer companies of all sizes the latest in corporate wellness incentives and wellness gifts for employees. This online platform brings healthy living initiatives to employees through inspiring and instructive video programs, on any device.

Offering expert yoga, fitness, nutrition and meditation video content, Yo-Fi Wellness empowers employees to live a healthier lifestyle, reducing absenteeism in the workplace and improving employee productivity. The Yo-Fi Wellness digital platform is the perfect solution to providing corporate gifts, incentives and rewards via gift cards and e-Certs.


Established in 2004, GiftCard Partners is an award-winning leader and outsourced solution provider for merchant B2B gift card programs through key distribution channels.

Employee Wellness and Safety Programs: How Health and Wellness and Safety Incentives Work

GiftCard Partners and CVS/pharmacy recently co-sponsored a webinar called Healthcare Reform’s Impact on Wellness – How to Incentivize Employees to Engage in Healthy Behavior. Speakers included Jonathan Edelheit, Editor in Chief of Benefits Live Magazine, Vanessa Cullerton, Senior Manager of Employee Wellness for the Hillshire Brands Company, Stacey Nelson, Manager of Health and Welfare for Sprint; and our own Edward Shulkin, President of GiftCard Partners.

The webinar tees up many of the effects of healthcare reform on wellness programs, but it also dives into actual employee wellness and safety incentives cases as well. In the webinar, Edelheit says: “If we look at manufacturing; gift card incentives are used really to motivate employees to engage in safer behaviors. That’s been happening for a while as a reward. If it’s done systematically with proper measurement methods, and you create a culture of preventing accidents, the company’s going to realize an ROI of increased productivity, reduced healthcare premiums, and potentially reduced worker comp claims. If we look at unsafe workplaces in this context, the National Safety Council reported that 3.8 million annual workplace injuries took place in the U.S., 90,000 of which caused permanent damage. The average cost per injury is $28,000, which was for a grand total of $130 billion dollars nationally.”

In our research, we found manufacturers getting creative with their safety programs, like a manufacturer who puts gift cards to work as incentives within their safety program: An electronics and process controls company plays “Safety Bingo” every month and they have been accident free for 15 years. “I use them as prizes, sometimes we will have 2 games going at one time like 4 corners and a regular Bingo, so I will give a $50 gift card for the 4 corners. Or I will surprise an employee who I catch using all their PPE (personal protective equipment) correctly.”

Register and check out the full webinar for more examples on how incentives are being used: Healthcare Reform’s Impact on Corporate Wellness & Incentivizing Employees

 

 

Established in 2004, GiftCard Partners is an award-winning leader and outsourced solution provider for merchant B2B gift card programs through key distribution channels.

Top 10 Trends for Employee Recognition in 2013

Mobile recognition, Social, Interactive, Green…there are many key initiatives rolled up in Roy Saunderson’s Top 10 Trends for Employee Recognition in 2013, but he shows us that it’s not just important to identify the trends, but to also put them in context. It’s not surprising to see gift cards rank in top recognition trends for the new year, but Roy shares his insights around making recognition and incentives meaningful for the employee. “6. Give me the cards I want.”

Employees will no longer be satisfied with mainstay gift cards from big box stores and established suppliers. Employees will demand to receive customized cards from meaningful places they prefer and not just what the employer deems everyone should get.”

This bodes well for GCP’s strategy of bringing the most wanted gift card brands to employers for recognition rewards and incentives. It forces employers to not just toss a cash equivalent gift card at an employee, but to be thoughtful about the gift. Give gift cards to great restaurants so your employees take their families to dinner, pharmacy gift cards so families can be proactive with healthful and personal care purchases, retail apparel gift cards…often a real treat.

Check out the rest of Incentive’s Top 10 Trends for Employee Recognition in 2013

Established in 2004, GiftCard Partners is an award-winning leader and outsourced solution provider for merchant B2B gift card programs through key distribution channels.