Use Your Wellness Dollars
The final quarter of 2018 means it’s officially budget season. While you’re tallying up the numbers, ask yourself this: Are you making the most of your healthcare budget with wellness dollars?
Wellness Dollars are the funds that insurance providers offer to reimburse investment in your team’s health programs, and they can go a long way toward increasing productivity, decreasing employee turnover, and achieving other benefits that come along with a healthier workforce.
However, insurance providers aren’t always clear about what they do and don’t offer when it comes to Wellness Dollars. In other words, it can be challenging to understand what exactly they are and how to make the most of them.
At Fitspot, we want you to know about and understand how to use your Wellness Dollars so you can take advantage of them this budget season. Here’s how:
Talk to your provider.
First things first: You can’t use your wellness dollars if you don’t know you have them! To find out, call your insurance broker or representative and ask if they offer health and wellness incentives for your employees. Keep in mind, these incentives might not always be called “Wellness Dollars” and could be referred to as wellness reimbursement, wellness credits, fitness reimbursement, or fit rewards.
Determine what expenses are covered.
Each insurer has different rule and regulations when it comes to how your wellness dollars can be spent. They might cover gym memberships, fitness classes, nutrition programs, gym equipment, yoga, meditation, or more. Getting a complete list of covered expenses from your provider will help you plan down the line. In most cases, these programs are not unlimited; there is typically a cap on the amount that they will reimburse.
Know your options.
Now that you know what is and isn’t covered, you can begin researching local programs and offerings. It’s up to you to decide whether you want a comprehensive program that handles all of the logistics for you, like an active wellness program, or a series of smaller products and programs, like gym memberships or individual fitness classes.
You can also choose between providers that send trainers and coaches to your office or programs that would require your employees to pursue wellness on their own time, outside of work.
Negotiate to get more out of your Wellness Dollars.
Even if you don’t have a wellness fund, you can negotiate them into your contract with your provider. If employees are making a lot of claims and insurers want to raise your rates, ask them for a wellness fund to improve their health. Alternatively, if claims are low, you can ask for Wellness Dollars in order to keep those employees healthy.
Wellness Dollars are one of the insurance world’s best-kept secrets. With just a few phone calls and a little research, you can improve your employees’ health and reduce insurance payments—just in time for budget season!