Monday, December 21, 2009

I keep getting asked about wellness programs and I keep saying the same thing: we have them and they’re effective… when people use them

Sometimes I think we at UnitedHealthcare take it for granted that everyone knows about wellness programs. But maybe not so much, judging from some of the questions I get from clients, prospects and news reporters.

Wellness programs have become a really important part of health care. The theory behind wellness programs is that they lead to a healthier workforce and a healthier workforce leads to lower overall health care costs for employees and employers. In addition, healthier employees are more productive because they miss work less.

Like many large national health insurance companies, UnitedHealthcare offers a full range of wellness programs, including many online and some conducted by third-party vendors who are experts in their field. Our most popular programs are those that reflect the most pressing health challenges we face as a nation:

  • Weight reduction and nutrition
  • Diabetes management
  • Smoking cessation
  • Heart disease management
  • Women’s health issues

Wellness programs are part of many of the health care plans we offer both large and small employers. We have had wellness programs for decades, but over the last 10 years our wellness offerings have expanded significantly due to research that’s proven that preventive care and active involvement in one’s health care decisions are key drivers of better health outcomes and lower overall health care costs.

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