Wellness Programs Continue to Grow

March 28, 2011 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - MetLife’s 9th Annual Study of Employee Benefits Trends found that employers’ top three benefits objectives remain the same as last year: 1) controlling health and welfare benefit costs, 2) retaining employees, and 3) increasing employee productivity.

Since employee lifestyle choices contribute significantly to health care costs, disability costs and productivity, it is not surprising that the number of employers offering wellness programs continues to grow, according to a press release.   

Overall, surveyed employers offering wellness programs climbed from 37% in 2009 to 45% in 2010. Among larger employers (500 or more employees), that percentage has grown from 61% in 2009 to 72% in 2010.  

Nearly three out of four employers (72%) that offer wellness programs say they are effective at reducing medical costs.   

The 9th Annual MetLife Study of Employee Benefits Trends was conducted during the fourth quarter of 2010 and consisted of two distinct studies fielded by GfK Custom Research North America. The employer survey comprised 1,508 interviews with benefits decision-makers at companies with staff sizes of at least two employees. The employee sample comprised 1,412 interviews with full-time employees age 21 and over, at companies with a minimum of two employees.   

The 9th Annual MetLife Study of Employee Benefits Trends is available at http://www.metlife.com/benefitstrends.