Why We Decided to Start Now
Like many companies, Balls Food Stores was faced with ever increasing healthcare costs and needed a plan to impact this trend. Our company felt we could take steps to impact our employees (referred to as teammates) by focusing on wellness initiatives and disease self-management education for conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, smoking, obesity, and asthma.
Implementation of Our Start Now Wellness Program
An important part of our Start Now program is communicating to our teammates about what they need to do to participate. Balls Food Stores chose to go with a 100% compliance wellness program to minimize teammate confusion regarding what must be completed to earn their insurance premium discount. Teammates receive letters throughout the year by mail and paycheck stuffers, along with numerous communications posted at the stores and published in our quarterly teammate newsletter.
Alignment of Wellness Program Incentives
Our company has structured our health plan to financially reward a teammate who chooses to demonstrate good health behaviors. In turn, our teammates who do not choose to participate in healthy behaviors do not receive these discounts, and in effect take on a larger share of the cost for their own healthcare. All of our teammates on the health plan have the opportunity to earn a weekly insurance premium discount. To earn the discount, they must identify a primary care physician initially, and update this as it changes. They must complete an annual Health Risk Assessment. They must participate in our annual biometric screening event, where teammates are screened for blood pressure, blood glucose, cholesterol, height, weight, and waist circumference. Alternately, they may provide these results from their physician visit. The final step a teammate must complete is participating in one of our disease state management programs if they are identified as having a particular chronic disease or lifestyle choice. We currently offer disease state management programs for diabetes and cardiovascular disease, as well as programs for lifestyle changes of weight management and smoking cessation. Those teammates who are targeted for specific wellness services, such as our diabetes self-management education, also receive additional incentives in the form of medication copay discounts when they participate. The average teammate enrolled in our diabetes program in 2009 saved nearly $1000 in combined premium and copay discounts when compared to someone not participating in the wellness program.
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Proven Positive Results