Financial Incentives to Help Employees Stick to New Year’s Resolutions

Employees know they should take better care of themselves, but the incentives for doing so are often unclear. While most of us start the New Year with the goal of being more active, spending less or saving more for retirement, resolutions rarely last longer than holiday decorations. Understanding the financial benefits of improved health provides a clear and powerful solution for employees to stick to their New Year resolutions.

Employer Healthcare New Year’s Resolutions

When it comes to their employees, companies have resolutions too. Managing or reducing healthcare costs is often at the top of the list.  Self-insured companies save around $3 for every dollar an employee saves on their healthcare. Therefore, supporting employees to act healthier is an opportunity to improve the bottom-line. For a company with 1,000 employees, using HealthyCapital’s data to motivate improved health, simply helping 50% of an average workforce to better manage health conditions, offers potential annual savings of $2.5 million. As for smaller, fully-insured companies, their benefit of a healthier workforce is seen in equally beneficial ways like lower premiums. Ultimately, however, when the full picture is shown, employers save when employees do. Proving that behavioral change not only affects the individual but the population and company, as well.

The New Year is an important time for companies to encourage healthier behaviors. Due to the fact that both the company and employee have just set their annual wellness goals. A key to encouraging long-term behavioral change is providing employees the information they need to illustrate both the cost of not sticking to their resolutions and motivate them to realize the financial and health benefits of achieving their goals.

To find out more about HealthyCapital healthcare cost data read our White Paper (click here)

Small Behavioral Changes Have A Big Impact on Healthcare Costs

HealthyCapital’s data from 530 million pieces of healthcare claims shows that employees can develop an increased disposable income driven by healthy behaviors. Specifically detailing that small behavioral changes can make a big difference to health and lower costs for employees and employers. This is, perhaps, most important at this time of year, as it can motivate lasting behavioral changes required to improve the wellness of employee populations.

Healthy New Year’s Resolutions

Leveraging this data to encourage employees to cut back on salt intake, take the stairs instead of the elevator and walk 15 minutes a day over the long-term will impact employee health, longevity and healthcare costs.

For Example: A 40-year old man with high blood pressure, who begins to take his medications daily and reduces his salt intake, would, on average, save $2,400 annually in out-of-pocket healthcare costs. More significant changes can make an even greater difference.

The data also shows the benefits to those suffering from diabetes.

For Example: Simply following a diabetic diet and light exercise make a big difference. A 35-year-old woman with type II diabetes stands to live 4 or more years longer and save $4,280 per year in annual healthcare costs.

Understanding Healthcare Costs

In order to encourage healthier workplaces, employees need to understand the costs and benefits of these changes. By creating consistent trends of behavior modification, employers and employees can use their own health to leverage their healthcare costs. In other words, efforts to encourage gym memberships are valuable, but, for employees who don’t get regular exercise; parking further from the door at work or a walk at lunch can have a large impact. The motivation of annual healthcare costs savings and a longer life are likely to result in consistent behavior modification.

Financial Resolutions for 2019

Since most employees have financial resolutions, highlighting the savings possible from healthier behaviors helps them check this box. Improved health provides an opportunity to increase disposable income. Providing incentives to employees to invest these savings in 401(k) plans, HSA’s and ROBO accounts. Since these accounts are not tax-deferred and therefore, instantly liquidable, this too adds benefit. Thus, by making their future dollar value and future retirement healthcare expenses clear, employers may help employees increase retirement savings.