Just more than a third of employees whose employers include a wellness program in their benefits package participate in some aspect of the plan at least once a week. And 44 percent who have access to a plan say they continued participating in it for at least a year.
This information comes from a HealthMine survey of 806 workers whose employers offer them a wellness plan as a benefit. The results suggest that either employers aren’t following through by driving engagement, or the programs themselves simply aren’t rich enough to keep employees coming back for more. Programs that lack biofeedback elements are less engaging to those who participate, HealthMine said.
“In health care delivery today, more than ever, employers and payers must engage their members with health information that is personally relevant, clinically focused, and automatically available anytime, anywhere,” said Bryce Williams, CEO of HealthMine. “Key is that it is personal information that it is tied to a person’s clinical data, including biometrics. Clinical data tied to lifestyle management gives consumers real measurements to see if they are making progress. That is what sustains engagement and engages employees weekly.”
But at least most (86 percent) said they used the programs at least occasionally. When asked to describe their level of participation in their wellness plans, here’s what respondents said:
- 36 percent: Weekly interest through the year
- 30 percent: Monthly interest through the year
- 20 percent: Quarterly interest through the year
- 6 percent: Quit after 6 months
- 5 percent: Quit after 3 months
- 4 percent: Never interested
When asked how long during the year did they stick with their participation, the replies were:
- 13 percent: Less than 3 months
- 23 percent: 3-6 months
- 20 percent: 7-9 months
- 44 percent: 10-12 months
The HealthMine survey found that, in general, about half the plans in the survey using monitoring and tracking devices designed to give employees ready access to information about their workouts, their state of health and medical clinic and prescription activities.
The study found that most participants get involved in wellness plan activities to improve their health, not to try to save money on health care costs, and more than half didn’t know or weren’t sure if their participation saved them money.