Is your employer sponsored health plan really keeping your employees healthy?

It’s that time of year for business owners. It’s time to renew the health insurance plans for the company. Unfortunately, there are no good choices and the plans are getting even further away from helping employees stay healthy.

If you are like me the annual visit with your health insurance broker, is not a fun one. The conversation usually goes something like this:

Broker: “Well the good news is that your premiums are only going to go up 12% this year. And with these policies that I have selected for you, we are actually saving you money. Believe me, it could be much worse.”

And our response:  @#$%^ REALLY?   I’ll let you fill in your own response.

Your thoughts: Do I go with the high premium with high deductible option or the even higher premium with a still high, but not as high of a deductible.  The decision feels a little like, “do I want to take a punch in the face, or a kick to the gut.”

And what happens next is you pick the lessor of the 2 bad choices, and then you share the news with your employees. “Your premiums are going up. We can’t afford to cover the complete premium any longer, and your deductible will be higher as well. I hope you stay healthy this year.”

Have you ever thought about how high deductible plans really affect your employees? Is this employer sponsored health plan really helping to keep your employees healthy?

With these less-than-great insurance options:

  • Can your employees access the health care that they need, when they need it?
  • Do your employees put off needed health care because of the cost?
  • Have you thought about the effect of less than healthy employees on your company’s performance?
  • How does the performance of your company change when someone is out with back pain?

Health insurance has largely become a catastrophic safety net plan that helps if something really goes wrong. And while thankfully these plans cover the emergency situations, do these current health insurance options really help your employees stay healthy? I think not. Our current health insurance options do little to help employees stay healthy.

So, what’s a business owner to do?

Our proposed solution: Initiate and commit to a health performance program. Help employees address health concerns early on so they stay healthy and be on the job.   Here are some things that can help.

  • Form a health performance committee.
  • Made of employees who are already health conscious, they will serve as mentors to help encourage others to create healthy work habits.
  • Provide an environment suited for more movement. 
  • Allow and encourage stand-up meetings, room to stretch and the freedom to move about.
  • Promote health through education.
  • Find health care resources willing to educate your employees on health topics like: staying healthy at work, eliminating musculoskeletal pains and soreness, preparing for your work day, recovering from your work day, improving nutrition habits, improving exercise habits, working smarter not harder
  • Make better movement and health a priority at work.
  • Start a stretch and flex program
  • Provide trusted health care resources, to help employees navigate health concerns early on.
  • Set up a HSE for employees to use for health-related expenses. Help your employee help themselves stay healthy.


Your Result: Healthy employees that are engaged and more productive.

Increasing the awareness of health within the work place increases engagement, safety and ultimately the culture, which leads to better performance by everyone. Offer your employees something better. You will not regret it.