Managing Health Care Costs: 5 Best Practices

by Evil HR Lady on February 17, 2016

Skyrocketing health care costs are in the news every night, and for business owners below the enterprise level, it might seem impossible to keep your costs reasonable while juggling all the other tasks on your plate. However, there are many things you can do to keep those costs from rising too quickly — and maybe even to cut some.

Here are five best practices to consider implementing:

1. Institute a Wellness Program

Wellness programs are popular for good reason: Ideally, they’re fun for employees and lead to money saved. In fact, the right workplace exercise programs can save you up to 20 percent in health care costs and reduce your sick leave by up to 6 percent, some research has shown. You can’t complain about those kinds of savings.

To keep reading, click here: Managing Health Care Costs: 5 Best Practices

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Gina-Marie Norton February 17, 2016 at 2:19 pm


Every time I try to read your articles I get a pop up to enter the connector. Any ideas on how this can be removed?


Antonia Siemaszko February 17, 2016 at 7:42 pm

Wellness programmes are NOT fun for employees, those who are fat for instance, even though there is ZERO scientific evidence that any diet gives more than a few percent of people any permanent loss, and that diets when they fail push your weight set point HIGHER, people are required to lose weight or have weight based interventions, which is plain and simple bullying and fat shaming and has ZERO proveable health benefits, particularly since nobody wants to actually define what health means.

There is a reason why every single diet programme is REQUIRED to post a notice “results not typical” because the only way they make money is that they fail, if everyone on a diet programme lost weight and kept it off, nobody would ever have to buy their programme a second time barring injury or something that caused them to regain.

And your disabled employees are automatically going to pay more for insurance. I can’t exercise, I have lung problems, I’m fat, I have other disorders that I don’t care to mention here, and I cannot participate and succeed in any of the wellness programmes out there. I can’t exercise, weight loss does not work and I’m not going to get my set point weight higher and hurt myself trying, etc.

So why not make it legal again for them to discriminate and just charge people like me more in the first place. The whole point of insurance is to spread the risk. For every me on the policy there are probably 10 or more people who barely ever use the insurance in the first place. Basically what wellness programmes say is that we’re going back to charging people more for things.

I know a bunch of fat women who are way more healthy than me, way more healthy than some thin people I know, and yet because a number (BTW BMI is supposed to be used to calculate starvation in country sized populations it is not meant to mean anything in one person,) says they’re too fat, they would fail a lot of these things.

I have a feeling that the only people who love these things are so called healthy people. I bet if people were asked even the healthy ones would have fits.

Are you aware that they are trying to carve an exception into GINA for wellness programmes? That wellness programmes unless run by an insurance company are not really covered by HIPPA, that there are very few rules that protect your medical information in this and that they ask for a lot of personal information That the EEOC has been ruling that some wellness programmes are not subject to the ADA?

They are trying to carve out exceptions to rules and laws designed to protect those who are most likely to fail the wellness programme and have to pay more. This is nothing more than an end run around protections for disabled people and those with preexisting conditions. Insurance is supposed to cover everyone and making those who need it most pay more is criminal.

Remember when they wrote the laws that prohibited insurance companies from refusing people with preexisting conditions? This is an end run around that.

TL;DR – oh heck no


Antonia Siemaszko February 17, 2016 at 7:47 pm

And sorry to put in two responses but – some maintenance medications are so expensive that employees who are minimum wage cannot afford to pay the 3 month mail order price, even if it’s more expensive at the pharmacy.

and ER vs Urgent Care? Urgent care requires up front payment now. And I’ve worked plenty of jobs where I didn’t have the 25-50-100 bucks (depending on your copay,) so suggesting they go to urgent care only works if they have the money to go there. Doesn’t matter if they want to and if Urgent care can set that sprained finger just as well if not better than an ER. An ER will bill you, you can make payment arrangements and there’s state help if you don’t make enough money to pay that bill.

Someone did a study and found that a majority of bankruptcies were for medical care and that MANY many of those persons filing HAD insurance at the time the bills were incurred.


Anon February 17, 2016 at 8:33 pm

You left out the slightly more evil fact that companies can also charge employees who do not participate in the wellness program (or do not meet the program’s “objectives”) up to 30% more in premiums. Savings? Yes. Something employees absolutely hate? Also yes.


Kate February 18, 2016 at 3:09 am

I’d add my vote against wellness programmes to the folks who have replied. Add a wellness program to a butt-in-seat long days culture, discouragement of use of sick leave and vacation, excessively aggressive artificial deadlines, and shouting bosses/coworkers and you only add insult to injury. With every magazine and talk show providing simplistic advice on important steps to health, and webMD and Mayo Clinic sites to consult if one needs information on designing a personal health programme, wellness programmes are redundant. Money spent on leader training would be a better lever on employee health. It’s a more appropriate approach to improving employee health than meddling in people’s individual health regimens. I’m not disagreeing with wellness programmes because I’m resisting a much-needed diet, since weight is not a problem for me, but I’ve been given one-size-fits-all advice via employer programmes that my doctor, cardiologist, and optometrist don’t agree with. There’s no wellness in that.


Chaigrl February 18, 2016 at 3:51 pm

Working in the IT industry, I tried implementing a wellness program and there were only a few people who participated. I think this is a fad that had some traction a few years ago but is now going out of style just like open office plans. Sayonara.


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