How Much Does an Employee Wellness Program Cost?

Muscular couple discussing on the bench and holding water bottle

Wellness programs can have great effects within the workplace, including boosting productivity and cost-saving benefits. It’s no wonder why wellness programs have become so popular with more employers looking to invest in more opportunities to promote health and fitness. Even though these programs have a multitude of positive effects, they are still an investment in both time and money. 

Today we will analyze how much wellness programs cost, as well as the importance of a well-rounded program. 

What is a Wellness Program? 

Wellness programs are usually offered through the workplace and are intended to improve and promote health and fitness. 

Employers will often encourage employee participation by offering premium discounts, cash rewards, gym memberships, and other incentives. 

Examples of wellness programs often encompass weight loss programs, diabetes management, or preventative health screenings. 

Common benefits offered in wellness programs include:

  1. Resources for smoking cessation
  2. Weight loss programs
  3. Stress management
  4. Company/gym workout rooms
  5. Company-sponsored sports teams
  6. Medical screenings
  7. Immunization/flu shots

Importance of Wellness Programs

In recent years the push for employee health incentives or gym memberships has continued to increase. A study by SHRM found that 52 percent of workers said they had more energy to be more productive at work by participating in a wellness program. 

Not only do wellness programs boost productivity, but it can also have an effect on healthcare costs. Wellness programs aim to work as a preventative measure for avoiding illness, while improving or maintaining an employee’s general health. The healthier employees are, the less days they tend to miss due to illness, as well as reducing their risk for chronic disease or conditions. 

Employee Health Education

In order to truly promote a healthy lifestyle, your program must extend beyond just the incentives. Your program should aim to encompass health education, communication, and implement a supportive work environment. 

Common wellness program education topics often include: 

  • Back care
  • Cancer prevention
  • HIV/AIDS awareness
  • Proper eating and exercise habits

How Much Do Wellness Programs Cost?

When determining the monetary value of a wellness program, it truly depends on how much the employers want to offer their employees. Different studies have found that wellness programs can cost anywhere from $150 to $2000 per employee per year, with the average being $762 in 2019

This is definitely a large range, but the reason is due to which wellness program options an employer wants to include. As mentioned above, there are a variety of different benefits that can be included within your wellness program, combined with education and resources for employees the time and money spent can vary for more extensive programs. 

A more cost-effective solution would be to partner with a wellness vendor, such as C.A. Short that offers a comprehensive wellness program along with a proprietary wellness platform. 

Wellness platforms often provide the materials that allow your company to create a wellness program and typically have monthly costs of $3 to $10 per employee

Most wellness platforms include access to a mobile app and website that offer incentive management, a health risk appraisal, online resources, wellness campaigns and team challenges. You can also choose to hire a wellness vendor to manage your wellness program. This can cost anywhere from $30 to $150 monthly per employee.

ROI of Wellness Programs

While implementing a wellness program for your business may seem like an expensive task, the ROI proves the cost and benefits are worthwhile. 

A study by the Harvard Business Review found that every dollar invested in the intervention yielded $6 in health care savings. After implementing wellness programs, Johnson & Johnson leaders estimate that wellness programs have cumulatively saved the company over $250 million on health care costs. The RAND Corporation when examining 10-year data from a Fortune 100 employer found that disease management programs generated $136 in savings per member, per month and a 30 percent reduction in hospital admissions. 

By partnering with C.A. Short Company, we can help you easily deploy your program, while giving you data and insights into program performance. Our comprehensive wellness platform provides convenience while boosting employee engagement and employee health. Download our whitepaper, Creating Healthier Employees and Stronger Companies with Wellness Programs to learn more about C.A. Short and our wellness programs. 

Creating Healthier Employees and Strong Companies

Topics: Health & Wellness Programs

R Scott Russell, CRP, CEP

About the Author
R Scott Russell, CRP, CEP

R Scott Russell is a video host, public speaker, and a sought-after thought leader in the world of employee engagement and recognition. At C.A. Short Company, he is responsible for producing engaging content, helping clients maximize the effectiveness of their programs, and providing ongoing training and education.

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