Crossing the Wellness Program ‘Engagement Chasm’

Engagement in Wellness

Between education and experience lies an “engagement chasm” in wellness programs, but there are incentives for both employers and employees who continue the fight for employee wellness.

According to a recent survey by Gallup and presentation by Dan Newton of Wellpoint, a subsidiary of Anthem, only 26% of employees participated in health and wellness programs, even as 68% of those participating were doing so though employer-sponsored programs.

Moving from ‘What’ to ‘How’

Newton, staff vice president, product/solutions development and behavioral economics at WellPoint, believes that with wellness engagement, “the issue isn’t what anymore, it’s how.”

So how are employers promoting wellness and boosting engagement? How will employers need to bridge this ‘engagement chasm’? It’s simple, give the employees what they need in a program.

Consumers, according to the AON Consumer Health Mindset Report, want to be empowered to move from passive patient to confident consumer. Employers can provide this by providing the following in their wellness program:

  • Design with Intent: Make it easy for the employee to register for and use the service
  • Reduce Unnecessary Expense: Throwing a one-size-fits-all option will waste an employee’s time and money. Make the offering personal for a higher level of engagement.
  • Move the Employees: The wellness program has to be engaging for employees to be engaged.
  • Make it Meaningful: Give employees a good reason to commit, and they are more likely to do so. In 2014, employers with a strong workplace health culture were more likely to exercise 3 times per week (62% vs 49%) and get a physical (72% vs 64%) than they would do in a company with a weak health culture.

Consumers want a facilitator and a champion to engage them in their health goals.

A Multi-Dimensional Approach to Promoting Wellness to Employees

How can employers influence employees?

  • Communication
    • Are people aware?
    • Are they reminded?
    • Do you know their preferences?
  • Ease of Use
    • Simplicity…”one click rule”
    • Process… understand the decision-making steps
  • Motivation
    • Use languages to counter act bias
  • The Power of Groups
    • Peer support
    • Social influence
  • Culture Matters
    • Policies
    • Message and Behavior Alignment….”do what you say”

All in all, a successful wellness program is one from which both employers and employees can benefit. Employers in reduced costs ($30 per employee per month according to a RAND study), increased productivity, and better engagement; employees in better health, resulting in lower costs.

Health Reform Insurance Subsides Upheld in Recent Supreme Court Ruling

Supreme Court and ACA

On June 25th the Supreme Court handed down it’s ruling in King v. Burwell, which challenged who and who was not able to receive subsidies under the 2010 Affordable Care Act. The Supreme Court agreed in a 6-3 ruling with the administration that low-and middle-income people who purchased health plans whether on the federal marketplace or their own state exchange were always both meant to be afforded access to the subsidies. READ MORE

Why do Employers Need a Good Broker?

Why Brokers Matter for Employers

Although it could be as simple as saying “Employers need a good broker to provide a strong, affordable, and legal benefits package to retain and recruit employees,” brokers have grown to become more than plan designer and salesperson. READ MORE

Employer Checklist: Choosing a Telemedicine Provider

Telemedicine Checklist

Telemedicine has one of the fastest adoption rates of any benefit that the health care arena has seen in a long time. According to a recent Towers Watson and National Business Group on Health annual survey just two year ago less than 10% of employers offered telemedicine and in 2014 over 28% of large employers added telemedicine to their benefits program. READ MORE

High Deductible Health Plans with Health Savings Accounts Can Work in Your Company


Open enrollment is only a couple months away and your planning may be beginning now for 2016.  As your company looks to contain health care costs, they may be considering a high deductible health plan (HDHP) with a health savings account (HSA) in addition to a traditional health plan or possibly in place of a traditional plan. Either case requires a new level of education and support to get everyone’s understanding of the value of this type of product. READ MORE

Still Considering Your Options on Your Company’s FSA Strategy?

FSA Trends in 2015

Since late 2013, employers of all sizes have been weighing the benefits, disadvantages, and options regarding one key piece of a benefits strategy. The flexible spending account, more importantly the rollover vs. grace period dilemma that comes with it, has been a major talking point for organizations of all sizes since the IRS announcement on October 31, 2013. READ MORE


Register Now!


Register Now!

FSA Trends Webcast
Consumer Trends
Financial Institution HSA Guide

Use our interactive map to find detailed exchange information for your state

Upcoming Industry Events

August 13, 2013 - 6:00 am

HCAA TPA University
July 15-17, 2015 
Chicago, IL

August 10, 2013 - 10:41 am

ECFC Flexible Benefits Administrators’ Symposium
August 5-7, 2015 
Austin, TX

August 7, 2013 - 10:41 am

Healthcare Benefits Trends To Watch in 2015