Navigating the Thorns of Obamacare to Find the Rose

affordable care act and corporate wellnessAffordable Care Act and Corporate Wellness Programs

With all the recent news surrounding “Obamacare” and all the logistical problems with sign ups, additional costs and the political fallout, I felt that I, an open opponent of Obamacare should point out one of the intelligent and well thought out provisions. Corporate Wellness.

Corporate Wellness; a system used by an employer to foster a culture of health among the work force with the goals of improving quality of life for their employees, reducing the burden of insurance premiums, reducing illness among the work force and with that reducing the cost of absenteeism, and inversely improving presenteeism, or the fostering of productive engaged employees. Simply put, it is a risk management system used to benefit employers financially by benefiting their employee’s health and quality of life. –Craig A Long-

So what does Obamacare say about Corporate Wellness?

  1. It mandates that all companies with 50 or more full time employees offer a corporate wellness program.
  2. It requires measurement of efficacy. This is not well defined in the bill and remains ambiguous.
  3. It requires year over year reviews of employee pool health with improvement benchmarks.

So let’s discuss these in order. The mandate for companies to offer wellness programs is bittersweet. The idea that the government can mandate something to a private company leaves a bitter taste in this entrepreneur’s mouth, however the fact that they (the bill writers) recognized this as a cost saving measure and felt it should be included in the bill gives me some “hope”. The truth is that this provision is disingenuous in the fact that 93% of large companies have already implemented wellness programs as a cost saving, risk management measure.

Second, in my opinion, the requirement for efficacy is a great idea. The issue here is that the bill is ambiguous. The measurement of efficacy is not clearly defined, and does not protect the employees from pill pushing/potion programs. That being said, most of the companies offering wellness programs have self-managed in the efficacy department. “Bottom line” is that a program that works well for wellness is good for the “bottom line”.

Third, the year-over-year review is a great plan; it allows companies to weed out the programs that are not working well for their employees and make adjustments accordingly. Real data collection and metrics review is the best way to verify that a wellness program is meeting financial efficacy for a company.

For our full report on corporate wellness programs and the ACA, email me.

Craig A Long NMT

Author: Craig Long

Leave a Reply

Sorry, you can't to browse this website.

Because you are using an outdated version of MS Internet Explorer. For a better experience using websites, please upgrade to a modern web browser.

Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Internet Explorer Apple Safari Google Chrome