Large Employers Embrace Special Health Programs

July 24, 2001 ( Over three-fourths (77%) of large US employers surveyed now offer their employees special health programs such as disease and medical management, flu vaccinations, baby or childcare programs, and prenatal care.

That’s more than the 71% in last year’s study by Hewitt Associates. That study also found that nearly all (92%) offered some form of health program, up from 88% in 1995.

Screenings and Health Appraisals

Further, some 74% use health screenings, up from 67% in 1995, to detect high blood pressure or cholesterol through their health plans or via on-site health fairs, mobile units for mammography or other screenings.

In addition to those who use screenings, 27% of companies administer health risk questionnaires to analyze employees? medical histories and promote early detection of health conditions.

And 40% of companies offer financial incentives or disincentives, such as gifts or monetary awards for employees who participate in these screenings or health appraisals, compared with 32% in 1995.

Disincentives include higher premiums for employees who smoke, or lower medical benefits for those not wearing seatbelts when involved in a car accident.

More Findings

The survey also found that:

  • some 71% of companies now offer employees some kind of education program, such as health seminars, up 5% from 1995,
  • the same percentage of employers are considering, or already have a disease management initiative in place to reduce healthcare costs and increase productivity.

The study, “Health Promotion/Managed Health Provided by Major U.S. Employers in 2000”, reflects the practice of some 1,020 companies.