Wellness & Disease Management
Employers offer wellness and disease-management programs in the hope of improving all employees’ general health or helping certain employees manage their chronic medical conditions. Employers typically offer these programs out of a genuine concern for their employees’ well-being and because they believe that such programs can lower employers’ and employees’ health plan costs and even decrease time spent away from work for illness-related absences (i.e., increase “presenteeism”).
For example, an employer may believe that an effective wellness or disease-management program might reduce employees’ claims under the employer’s major medical plan, or reduce work-related accidents or disease-related absenteeism. Sometimes, employers that offer insured major medical plans cannot help but offer wellness or disease-management programs to employees because of health insurers bundle wellness and disease-management programs along with insured major medical plans. In such cases, the employer has no choice but to offer the wellness or disease-management program alongside its insured major medical plan.