While other benefits get the chop, employers are hanging on to wellness programs. A survey by Buck Consultants found 45 percent of respondents are increasing their wellness communications.

"Our findings suggest that wellness has 'come of age' as a vital benefit offering, especially during financially difficult times," said Barry Hall, Buck principal and global wellness leader. Hall directed the survey of employer delegates at the 4th Annual Employer Health & Human Capital Congress in February 2009.

"Since the onset of the financial crisis, workers' use of wellness services has increased for 53 percent of respondents, and only five percent have seen a decrease," he added.

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