Corporate Wellness, Technology | By | 10/17/18 | 3 Minute Read

Open Enrollment Checklist: 3 Ideas to Boost Your Wellness Programs

Open enrollment season is a fall rite of passage for corporate HR departments, who are typically busy blasting out emails to employees about healthcare benefits and changes for the upcoming year. As your employees sort through their health, dental, and vision insurance options and costs, they have a singular focus on their health.

With the cost of medical and drug benefits predicted to rise by 5 percent in 2019, employees may be shouldering a larger portion of their healthcare costs. This may help motivate them to find ways to decrease their medical expenses by making healthy lifestyle changes. For you, that means open enrollment could be the ideal time to launch educational programs and new activities to help employees prioritize wellness in 2019. Here are three ideas to consider:

Nudge workers toward healthy habits with incentives. According to Kiplinger, most employers in 2019 will continue to offer high-deductible health plans paired with a health savings account (HSA). In 2018, 53 percent of employers said their high-deductible plan had the highest enrollment.

That said, providing an HSA-based incentive (such as an employer contribution or match) may boost participation in your wellness programs. Kiplinger notes that about one-third of employers say they will contribute to an employee’s HSA if they participate in or complete a program to improve their health.

Educate employees in the value of virtual care and coaching. Healthcare delivery is changing rapidly. We live in a connected world where people expect a digital health experience that blends with their busy lives. However, your employees may not know all their options.

According to the National Business Group on Health, 52 percent of employers believe virtual care will play a significant role in health care delivery in the future. More than half of employers cited implementing more virtual care solutions as a top health initiative in 2019. The National Business Group adds that virtual care includes digital coaching, chronic condition management, remote monitoring, and cognitive behavioral therapy.

You could help employees make healthy lifestyle changes with Fitbit Care health coaching, which provides general health and wellness coaching as well as complex care and disease management. It also offers program support for coaches targeting individuals with diabetes, hypertension, tobacco cessation, weight loss, and more.

Reboot your wellness programs and facilities. Open enrollment is also the perfect time for you to refresh (and promote!) your lineup of fitness challenges, wellness programs, and workout facilities. Simply put, fitness routines need to be varied, as doing so helps people stimulate different muscle groups, beat workout boredom, prevent overuse injuries, and meet new workout partners, which contributes to social connectedness.

You may need a technology reboot, such as adding virtual reality to your gym experience or installing nap pods to help employees overcome workplace fatigue. Your wellness makeover can be something as straightforward as ensuring that your step challenges are fresh or adding hydration stations to your meeting rooms.

Lastly, as open enrollment coincides with holiday candy and sweet treats, take inventory of your office snack options. This list of five healthy foods your employees will want to eat (including stress-lowering dark chocolates) is a great place to start.

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