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Wellness incentive spending doubles over four years

BY SHRM online staff

Corporate employers plan to spend an average of $521 per employee on wellness-based incentives in 2013. This marks an increase of 13% from the average of $460 per employee reported in 2011, and double the per-employee average of $260 reported in 2009, according to an employer survey by the nonprofit National Business Group on Health and Fidelity Investments.

Data for the survey were collected in October and November 2012 from a sample of 120 U.S. companies spanning a range of fewer than 2,000 to more than 50,000 employees.

In addition to higher spending on wellness-based incentives, the survey found that the overall use of these incentives among corporate employers continues to increase. Nearly nine out of 10 employers (86%) surveyed indicated that they offered wellness-based incentives, an increase from 73% in 2011 and 57% in 2009.

The most popular wellness-based incentives continue to be:

• A decrease in premiums (offered by 61% of employers).

• Cash or gift cards (55%).

• Employer-sponsored contribution to a health savings account or similar heath care-based savings vehicle (27%).

While the percentage of employers offering wellness-based incentives has risen across all markets, the results illustrated significant growth in the midmarket, where 77% of employers plan to offer wellness-based incentives in 2013 — more than double the 38 percentage of midmarket employers that offered such incentives in 2010. In addition, almost half of employers in the midmarket (45%) plan to offer average incentives of more than $500 per employee.

A majority of employers (54%) will expand their wellness-based incentives to include dependents, up from 45% in 2011. And almost half (49%) will include spouses/dependents in communications about wellness programs. 

Requiring risk assessment or biometric testing

Fifteen percent of employers are mandating that employees complete a health activity — like an employer-sponsored biometric screening or a health risk assessment — in order to determine their eligibility for one or all of the company’s health plans in 2013. The survey results further revealed that:

• 10% of employers will be requiring workers to complete a health assessment or risk being moved automatically into a less attractive subset of the company’s health plan.

• 7% of employers indicated that failure to complete a biometric screening would result in an employee being switched into a less attractive subset of the company’s health plan.

• 3% of employers indicated that failure to complete a health assessment or biometric screening would result in a loss of benefits for 2013. 

Tailoring programs to reward behavior

Forty-one percent of employers include, or plan to incorporate, outcomes-based metrics as part of their incentive program; this gives both employers and employees a measurable goal that can be used to reward behavior or results in certain health categories, such as lowering cholesterol (used as a goal by 30% of employers) or blood pressure (29%) or reducing waist measurement (11%).

“An increasing number of employers understand how wellness programs contribute to a healthy workforce,” said Helen Darling, president and chief executive officer of the National Business Group on Health, in a media release. “And it’s encouraging to see employers take the necessary steps to tailor their wellness programs in a way that will [incentivize] and motivate their employees to engage in health-improvement activities, and find ways to reward them for their progress.”

©2013 SHRM. All rights reserved.

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Boral Roofing applies Nansulate Crystal coating

BY Ken Clark

Boral Roofing, maker of clay and concrete tile roof systems, obtained the exclusive right to promote Nansulate Crystal roof coating.

Nansulate is a clear thermal insulating protective coating designed for all types of sloped roofs.

“This coating works well with our family of products and aligns with our mission to provide aesthetically pleasing, high-performance roofing solutions,” said Wade Shepherd, senior manager of Roof System Components of Boral Roofing.

Applied via a two-coat application with a paint sprayer, brush or roller, Nansulate Crystal can be used over multiple roof material types and is environmentally friendly as a low VOC-compliant, water-based, non-toxic and non-flammable material.

“Nansulate Crystal and Boral Roofing’s products are a natural fit for each other,” said Francesca Crolley, VP business development for Industrial Nanotech Inc. “We are honored to join forces with the country’s leading sustainable roof tile manufacturer to provide exceptional solutions for today’s homeowner.”

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RONA names new CEO

BY Ken Clark

Boucherville, Quebec-based RONA named Robert Sawyer as CEO, ending its search for a permanent replacement for long-time CEO Robert Dutton, who resigned in November.

Sawyer is the former chief operating officer of Metro Inc., the Quebec-based food retailer.

Robert Chevrier, executive chairman of RONA, trumpeted Sawyer’s retail experience.

“It became increasingly clear to us that to ensure a successful transformation, we needed to hire a specialist in retail and distribution operations,” he said. “[Sawyer] will play a key role in simplifying and optimizing the RONA business model, particularly with respect to merchandising, pricing strategy, supply chain, service to consumers and service to RONA dealers. Robert has the operational and turnaround expertise needed to put RONA back on the path to profitable growth and increase value for all of our stakeholders.”

Sawyer replaces acting CEO Dominique Boies. The move takes effect in April.

The leadership move comes at a time when RONA is remaking its business model by simplifying its operations and deemphasizing large, big-box home centers while rolling out smaller formats as Home Depot and Lowe’s turn up the competitive pressure in Canada.

RONA operates a network of more than 800 corporate, franchise and affiliate retail stores of various sizes and formats under different banners, and a network of 14 hardware and construction materials distribution centers. It is the largest home improvement distributor and retailer in Canada.

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