The incentive program and its benefits for employers, employees and brokers

Safety incentive programs and corporate health and wellness initiatives share a lot of similarities but the rewards they offer the employees of companies which initiate the programs often differ.

According to Business Insurance, IMA Financial Group began its healthcare cost containment program in 2007 under the title of “health risk management” as opposed to a “wellness” program which is what it is commonly referred to as today with businesses of all sizes implementing similar programs to lower company-wide healthcare costs and promote productivity and increase morale in employees.

Oftentimes, safety incentive programs are incorporated into a business’s structure as an attempt to reward their workforce for adopting or practicing safe habits in the workplace and in doing so lower the number of workers compensation claims. Many businesses offer various gift cards, travel rewards, merchandise credit, cash and other incentives for employees that excel in this area.

However, corporate health and wellness program rewards often come in the form of lower health insurance premium payments that are oftentimes passed on to the employees. So, the employees’ incentives for adopting healthy lifestyles come in the form of saving money on the premiums that usually come out of their paychecks. The savings also trickle down to the broker and and employer as well, the news source states.

“We’ve seen reduced risk, improved health status, and had a nearly flat trend over three years,” Gregg Kamas, vice president and health risk management practice leader at IMA in Denver, told the news source.

Kyle Orndorff, senior vice president of human resources for IMA in Wichita, Kansas, told the news source the points system used for the program has helped track the success achieved by it.

“We now have data, and that’s what this game is all about – proving that it can make a difference,” Orndorff said. “The medical claims of those who have participated are 39 percent less than for those that did not. This shows that those who have fewer health risks generate lower health care costs.”

The Incentive Research Foundation/Incentive Federation Study released recently found that the majority of industries using programs aimed at rewarding employees with various incentives are different depending on the industry.

The survey found that companies in the manufacturing, medical, technology and finance/insurance industries typically rely on “classic incentive programs” with 65 percent of all firms using pre-paid gift cards as the main method of incentive reward.