The U.S. Centers for Disease and Control recently conducted a survey with the intent of showing employers that money spent on wellness programs benefits employees and ultimately saves employers money. Employers typically are reluctant to invest in wellness programs due to the upfront cost but the numbers show that employee wellness is worth the investment.
Wellness programs lead to less chronic disease risk factors which results in an annual savings of approximately $565 per employee annually. Depending on how much was invested in the wellness program, that is typically a $2-$4 savings for each $1 spent on the wellness program. Additionally, employees who participate in a wellness program on average gained an additional 10.3 hours of productivity annually which results in an average annual savings of $353 per employee. In contrast, productivity losses due to personal or family health issues cost employers on average $1,685 annually per employee. Wellness programs obviously benefit the participants but this study shows that they can also benefit the contributing employers and the health plan as a whole.