Employees like wellness programs but don’t stay engaged

While most individuals enrolled in wellness programs like them and believe they help them manage their health, a majority report that they do not stay engaged in their programs throughout the year, according to a recent survey of 1,929 employees from HealthMine. The survey also found that many appear to be unsure if their wellness programs are helping lower their health care costs.

The survey found the following:

  • Employee engagement: Though adopted by nearly three quarters of all employers, wellness initiatives do not sustain employee engagement; less than half of participants report that they stay engaged in their wellness program throughout the entire year.
  • Health knowledge: People lack critical information about their personal health. Less than one third know at least one of their key health metrics, which can be indicators of risk for chronic illness. For example, only 32 percent of employees know their blood pressure. A majority of consumers report difficulty interpreting their health information or understanding what steps they need to take to maintain or improve their health.
  • Health information preferences: Individuals are hungry for more knowledge about their health and have strong preferences for the types of information they would like to have at their fingertips. For instance, 85 percent want better information about their risk of chronic disease. The majority wants to know which cancer screenings they need and actions necessary to maintain or improve their health.
  • Employer guidelines: Underscoring the importance of guidelines and incentives from plan sponsors, 80 percent of individuals want to receive incentives for wellness. More than half want help from their plan sponsors in setting personal health goals. Even though 30 percent of respondents said they have been diagnosed with a chronic condition in the last year, most are not currently receiving help with disease management or medication adherence through their wellness programs.
  • Health care costs/spending: Individuals are struggling not only to make meaning of health data, but also to find savings in all of the new information generated by wellness programs. While 70 percent of respondents say their wellness plan helps them manage their health, just 38 percent say it helps them manage health care costs. What’s more, even though most agree it’s a good idea to shop for the best deal on medical services before taking action on their health, most never do.

HealthMine CEO and President Bryce Williams commented: “As regulations governing wellness programs take hold and the industry matures, plan sponsors can optimize their wellness programs with greater personalization and health guidance coupled with meaningful incentives. The most successful employers will help consumers more easily get and find personal relevance in their health data through personal clinical engagement.”

For more information, visit http://www.healthmine.com.

Visit our News Library to read more news stories.