So you are thinking about a wellness program. Whether you are just getting started with wellness or are looking to enhance your current program, you will need to select how to handle your programs and initiatives. You likely know that your medical carrier offers these services, as well as your EAP—not to mention the plethora of third-party vendors. Sound familiar?
When you are faced with this question as often as we are, you start to assess what factors require the most attention, and recognize the vendors that really excel.
So how do you determine which is best for your company? As with most things in wellness, there isn’t one “right” answer; among the factors we believe are most important for our clients to consider are budget, population and loyalty to a carrier.
On a budget? Third-party vendors can be very expensive. Most carriers offer a free health assessment and some run screening costs through claims, resulting in fewer out-of-pocket expenses. Do-it-yourself is always an option, but we find this is best suited to introductory programs that which may not be as effective in effecting meaningful behavior change.
Your employees also must be taken into account—skeptical employees might hinder participation in carrier options. HIPAA protection or not, many workers could be reluctant to turn over their biometric screening numbers and lifestyle information to the company controlling their coverage.
And if a program with all the bells and whistles—technology integration, a dynamic user experience, room for program growth—is what’s alluring to you and your employees, a third-party may offer the best flexibility. If you change carriers often or are thinking about it, a third-party vendor is also advisable to maintain continuity in data collection year after year.
Recently, while strategizing with a client who was debating the added expense of a third-party vendor, a familiar challenge arose: wanting more for less. I developed a list of online wellness vendor options with a range of pricing from the no-cost carrier, to the comprehensive, yet high-cost provider. We hashed out the client’s key concerns and ultimately with our guidance, they selected a product with a more dynamic user experience that didn’t break the bank. It is possible to find a solution that will fit your needs, but experience and guidance is certainly valuable to make the best decision.