New Year….New You, Right?

New Year….New You, Right?

New Year…. New You, Right?

It’s hard to believe we are almost at February’s halfway mark. Who is still going strong with their resolutions? For those of you still going strong, CONGRATULATIONS! Keep it up.

This time of year, in the benefits arena, is a great opportunity for employers to focus on your employees. Use this time to review data and build upon the high emotions running through the offices as staff members talk about their latest diets, exercises or quitting of bad habits.

Look at the health of your population and create a plan to conduct outreach. You have the audience right now, do not waste it!

If you are relying on the insurance carrier model to be the gatekeeper of increased population health, do not hold your breath. We live and work in a reactive health care world – one where doctors see patients for 10-15 minutes and push through as many as possible in each day.  A world where adherence to proper medication and appropriate levels of care are not monitored nearly enough and most importantly, those that are attempting the outreach are usually unsuccessful because the personal relationship between the employee and the physician or insurance company is not there.

What can I do about it? Why should I care?

Many work environments offer a social setting that cannot be matched by the doctor’s office or insurance companies – an environment that can be used for education, encouragement and praise for meeting goals. Just look around. In most social circles in the workplace you will find that people talk and are open to suggestions from their peers. People are happy to share what they are doing and why. Use this as your sounding board.

  • Create specific campaigns to target chronic conditions.  Offer resources to your staff to help them understand the proper way to manage their conditions and prevent others from ending up in the same boat.
  • Invent ways for your staff members to become involved. Need a healthier kitchen? As a service rep. to oversee this task. Looking to promote vegan recipes? Send out a memo and ask for takers.
  • Hire an outside consultant that can work with your current resources, avoid recreating the wheel, and provide practical ideas.
  • Bring wellness to you! Companies have moved far beyond just an annual wellness fair and have allowed onsite preventive care visits (contact Laura Van Houtte for more information!…(810) 305 – 0845).

The end goal for you, the employer? A healthier population reduces absence management, increases productivity and probably most important for the CFO, reduces the health care expense line as chronic conditions can easily cost a multiple of 4x to 8x to manage and treat.

Not sure where to start? Have a discussion with your consultant, and understand what tools and resources are available to help. Form a committee who’s dedicated to help the success of your initiatives and will serve as office champions to support a common goal.

Meet the Author

Matt Cole Vice President, Client Strategy

Matt doesn’t think of himself as a salesperson, despite having supported the sale of several clients – both small and large – throughout his career.  Geeked about numbers, but passionate for growth, he devises programs for those private and public entities that desire strategic direction, clear paths, and objective feedback. Matt brings more than 12 years of industry experience in plan design and cost efficiency. Before joining Michigan Planners, he served as a sales manager at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, as well as worked for a national consulting firm on client management, actuarial work and compliance.

About the Author


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