You’ve already chosen your health plan and introduced it to employees. Now it’s time to leverage your investment with these five resolutions:

  1. Think wellness. Millions of Americans create New Year’s resolutions annually, but 80% of them fail. This year, make lifestyle changes easier for employees by integrating wellness initiatives into your company. It can be as easy as holding a weight loss contest, tabulating employees’ miles walked (an across-the-country or around-the-world challenge) and offering healthier snacks in the vending machines. Does your insurance carrier offers fitness center discounts to members? If yes, remind your employees to take advantage of this perk.
  1. Emphasize an ounce of prevention. Your health plan includes no-cost preventive coverage ranging from an annual checkup to mammograms and colonoscopies. Let employees know you care about their health by encouraging them to take full advantage of their preventive care benefits. (You may also reduce medical costs and absenteeism when employees catch small health issues before they become big problems.)
  2. Encourage shopping. Your employees wouldn’t buy a car or a television without comparison shopping. Encourage them to reduce health care costs by also shopping for health services. To encourage participation, test out your insurance company’s transparency tool to see how it works, and then hold a lunch-n-learn to share the information with employees.
  1. Control chronic conditions. Chronic diseases account for 86% of the nation’s health care costs and are responsible for 7 of 10 deaths each year. Encourage employees who have diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma, heart conditions or other health issues to work with their doctors and their insurance company to get healthier. Not only will your employees feel better, they’ll also be more productive at work and have fewer absences.
  1. Skinny down from the top down. Obesity costs the nation $147 billion in medical costs annually and reduces productivity by $79 to $132 per obese individual. It’s also tied to heart attack, stroke, diabetes, cancer and many other illnesses. Want slimmer employees? Begin with the management team. Develop a “biggest leadership loser” contest and celebrate successes with healthy snacks in the lunchroom.

This is your chance to make 2017 one of the healthiest, more productive years in the history of your company.

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