Health Plus: Employers taking pro-active approach to wellness - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Health Plus: Employers taking pro-active approach to wellness


Unhealthy employees can cost a company a lot more than the amount on their paychecks.

In Health Plus, why eastern Iowa employers want to be pro-active about their workforce.

As an account executive at PDCM Insurance in Waterloo, Kent McCausland knows how complicated it can be for employers to keep their staff safe and healthy.

But he's learned from experience a pro-active approach through wellness programs can cut expenses by up to 25 percent.

"It's a pretty sizeable line item when you're talking about a business owner. How do you lower costs? how do you raise profits? and one is through worker's compensation and I think the wellness strategy is a nice, longterm pro-active strategy that reduces not only health premiums but reduces worker's compensation premiums," said McCausland.

Stef Niemann agrees.

She helps companies jump through the hoops of corporate wellness as part of Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare's Occupational Health.

"There are research-based studies that prove that wellness programs, disease management programs do work. There are companies in the area that currently provide these services they are seeing the results that they want to see. They are seeing their health insurance claims go down," said Niemann.

As president of Group Benefit Design in Waterloo, John Monaghan helps 150 eastern Iowa businesses navigate health insurance for their workforce.

"Really what we see is employers or employees needs really two parts of an employee wellness program. One is an incentive model that helps encourage the employees to make healthy lifestyle decisions where they can. But that needs to be coupled with the resources the employee needs to make the changes," said Monaghan.

The proof is in the pocketbook.  Monaghan says employees who improve their health can save themselves hundreds of dollars a year in premiums.

"For each area that they're able to improve those, they get a reduction in their health insurance premium," he added.

That's why Wheaton is partnering with employers to educate them about the future of health care.

"You know, what they need to start thinking about as far as insurance," said Niemann.

Next week local employers and hospital staff are taking part in a one-day conference in Waterloo to learn the latest in insurance trends and employee wellness.  It's called Connecting the Dots and will be held from 8am-5pm at Waterloo Center for the Arts. 



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