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R&R Insurance Blog

Three Ways to Increase Profit Using WellCompForLife

Posted by the knowledge brokers

WellCompForLifeTake control of the health and productivity of your employees - and increase profit. WellCompForLife is R&R Insurance Services’ total solutions approach to that will provide your company with the tools to increase the life span and productivity of your employees - and ultimately your bottom line!

The top three driving trends impacting an employer’s bottom line are Obesity, Workplace Injuries and the Aging Workforce.

Addressing These 3 Corporate Burdens to Increase Your Profit

1. Obesity - Yes, That Means Lose The Weight
Findings show that obese workers were more likely to report occupational injuries, with a great frequency of strains and sprains, along with falls and overexertion injuries. Consider these statistics: A comparison of obese employees to normal weight employees: 50% more workers’ compensation claims, 13x more lost work days, 7x higher medical costs, 11x indemnity claim costs. And this is just the workers compensation part. The negative effects of obese employees on your health insurance costs are overwhelming. Diabetes, heart disease, chronic pain - can all be attributed in part to being overweight. That means you have to do something about it - employee wellness programs, fitness, healthy eating, lifestyle changes for your employees and their families.

2. Reduce Workplace Injuries: Reduce the injuries to reduce the work comp claims!

  • Slip-and-fall injury prevention: ensure a safe working environment by maintaining parking lots and sidewalks; encourage employees to wear appropriate footwear for wet or slippery conditions. Make sure you have handrails at all stairwells and inclines/declines - special attention to this for your aging workforce.
  • Ensure employees can meet the physical requirements of the job: consider a post-offer, pre-employment physical for new employees – be sure the physician covers medical history as it may reveal something not seen during the physical (the cost of the test would pay for itself when preventing a back or shoulder claim!) Pay special attention to your aging workforce for their physical requirements.
  • Ergonomics enhancement: ask employees for suggestions on how their job can be tweaked to avoid fatigue or soreness; consider job rotation for repetitive tasks (also promotes cross-training!)
  • Wellness programs to aid injury prevention: help prevent strains, sprains, and falls by improving flexibility, strength, and balance. Great examples is starting a flex and stretch program, cover part of a gym membership, or hold exercise classes like yoga, Pilates, or Tai Chi.Also, having a structured return-to-work program has several benefits, the most important of which is the reduction of lost-time (lost-time has 3 times greater impact on your workers compensation premium dollars than a no-lost-time claim).

There are literally dozens of ways to increase safety and reduce injuries at your place of work. If they aren't apparent to you, bring a knowledgebroker in - we'll take a look around and give you some pointers.

3. Address the Aging Workforce
Experts predict that by the year 2020, 25% of the US workforce will be 55 years or older. Couple this statistic with the fact that most people are working past the traditional retirement age of 65 and organizations need to pay special attention to this sector of the workforce.

On average, older workers are injured less frequently than younger workers. However when older workers are injured, it will be more severe and have a longer recovery time. See Preventing Injuries in an Aging Workplace.

R&R Insurance has found that if businesses address the health of their employees, reduce their number of injuries and keep a close eye on ways to accommodate the aging workforce, you will see a significant positive effect on your bottom line! WellCompForLife processes will increase the health and longevity of your employees and their families giving you a lot more control over your health and work comp insurance costs, all while improving the productivity of their employees. This is control business owners don't realize they have. At R&R Insurance, we call this program WellCompForLife!

Join the WellCompForLife discussion on LinkedIn!

For more information about WellCompForLife, contact a knowledgebroker today!

Topics: Return to Work, Safety, Workers Compensation, Employee Benefits, Wellness, obese employees, lost work days, indemnity claim costs, Self Funded Health Insurance, WellCompForLife, wellness programs, Improve Employee Wellness, increase the health and longevity of your employee, Increasing Your Profit, lower Employee Health Risk, Business Insurance

March Madness at Work: Three Point Play or Foul?

Posted by Steph Schreiber

March Madness FunnyIt's Madness...we know. There's a lot of talk about whether employers should let employees check their brackets while at work. We did some hunting and found these great tips for business owners and HR managers to rally around the issue. It looks like the winning answer is YES!

Set a Game Plan
While an employer shouldn’t be expected to set up flat panel televisions and hand out remote controls, it can embrace the team spirit the tournament creates. Options can include letting workers:

  • Show their colors. Employees might rally around a casual day that allows them to wear the colors of their favorite team.
  • Flex some muscle. Workers may appreciate flexible hours that allow them to catch a big game.
  • Pool resources. A company-wide pool that allows employees to fill out the brackets for fun — and does not involve cash prizes or an entry fee — could be an ice-breaker, and chatter about last-second victories and upsets offers an opportunity for employee bonding.
  • Take a break. An organization that does not allow employees to bring their cell phones, iPads, or other portable electronics into the office may let workers check scores online while on break. Also, make sure the games are on in the lunchroom so workers can do some scoreboard watching during lunch or break time.

 

Here are some of the highlights of what we found and the links to the full articles:

 

March Madness at Work: Can it Be a Slam Dunk?

Morale vs. productivity Staffing company OfficeTeam recently surveyed more than 1,000 managers on the effects of the NCAA tournament in their workplaces. Twenty percent of the managers felt office activities related to the tournament improved employee morale at least somewhat. Just four percent viewed them negatively. The majority—75 percent—said March Madness events at work have no effect on morale or productivity.

This year’s survey differs from OfficeTeam’s 2010 survey, in which 41 percent of executives felt office tournament celebrations helped morale while 22 percent thought those activities hurt productivity.

Managers were asked, "Do you feel March Madness (NCAA basketball tournament) activities in the workplace, such as watching games or participating in pools that don't involve money, have a positive or negative impact on employee morale?"

Their responses:
Very positive 5%
Somewhat positive 15%
No impact 75%
Somewhat negative 3%
Very negative 1%
Don't know/no answer 1%

Managers also were asked, "Do you feel March Madness activities in the workplace have a positive or negative impact on employee productivity?"

Their responses:
Very positive 5%
Somewhat positive 11%
No impact 75%
Somewhat negative 8%
Very negative 1%


March Madness: Three Point Plays for HR Victories or Catastrophes at Work:

Wide-ranging research suggests that March Madness participation can actually improve productivity in three ways:

  1. Morale: As people come out of the dark corners of their cubes and begin interacting with each other, it creates a happy environment to share creative ideas. And, we all know, happier employees work more productively.
  2. Inclusiveness: When employees feel as if they are included in something, they unknowingly create an equalizer that has the power to transcend title and position. So, everyone feels like they belong and have something fun to which they can look forward.
  3. Engagement: Employees are not only engaged with each other, but they’re more engaged with their work. The fact is: March Madness brings out the best in most of us.

The most important thing to remember is that people will continue to play brackets ...and will do it at work. It is incumbent upon management and HR to find ways to keep employees engaged and to let them have some fun. But it’s also important to develop guidelines to avoid that possible HR catastrophe.

For more information on HR consulting, employee benefits, employee welfare and well-being, or any risk management concerns, contact a knowledgebroker today.

Topics: Employee Benefits, Wellness, HR Compliance, march madness in the workplace, march madness at work, WellCompForLife, HR and march madness

Self-Insurance Guide for Self Insuring Your Health Insurance

Posted by Resource Center

CTA-Self-Insurance-Guide-1With the onset of The Affordable Care Act (PPACA), many small employers will see their costs rise, despite successful efforts to encourage healthy habits and smart consumer choices - just another reason why smaller employers are taking matters into their own hands and self-funding. (Actually the healthier your employees, the better off your plan will be if you self-insure...here's why.)

At R&R Insurance, we get weekly inquiries about self-funding or self-insuring health insurance for their employees. This is a very hot topic right now, and we are here to help. This Self-Insurance Guide covers the basics of self insuring your company's health insurance. Download your Self-Insurance Guide here.

Recent articles about self-funding:

3 Guidelines driving small employers to self-funding
Health Benefits Continue to Be Key for Employers Despite Obamacare
How to Get, or Keep, Health Insurance if You Are Self Employed
Self-Insurance is a Loophole for Small Businesses

R&R is well versed in the self funded options available to small groups and has first hand experience transitioning small employers to partially self funded and self funded options. For more information about self funding your health insurance, contact a knowledgebroker today!

Topics: Employee Benefits, Health Reform, Self Funded Health Insurance, WellCompForLife, Business Insurance

Absence Management: Best Practices and Positive Outcomes

Posted by the knowledge brokers

Injury-at-Work.jpgThe causes of absenteeism are varied, and so is the impact on companies - from decreased productivity to a reduction in profit and morale.

Some employers are finding better ways to manage employee absence. Research shows a direct correlation between these five major employer practices and a better absence management program:

  1. A full return-to-work (RTW) program, starting with a written RTW policy and a list of alternative duties for light duty clearance.
  2. Referral process for employees to health management programs.
  3. A central leave-reporting system for STD and FMLA.
  4. Detailed reporting for disability and FMLA usage patterns, costs etc.
  5. Use the same resource for STD, FMLA and other benefit programs

7 Positive Outcomes of an Absence Management Program

  1. Enhanced productivity
  2. Reduction in lost-time claims
  3. Decreased overall absenteeism
  4. Direct cost reduction
  5. Better return-to-work ratios
  6. Lower workers compensation premiums
  7. Improved employee morale

Employers are recognizing the importance of managing absences, but most have a long way to go in managing their overall presenteeism program.

Implementing strategies to help workers stay healthy is critical to controlling costs. At R&R, we take wellness to a whole new level. Wellness programs will increase the health and longevity of employees and their families –which means that businesses can have a lot of control over their health insurance costs and the productivity of their employees – control that they don’t know they have. At R&R Insurance, we call this program WellCompForLife!

Join our upcoming Work Comp Seminar to learn more!

Topics: Return to Work, Workers Compensation, Employee Benefits, Wellness, Accident Investigation, presenteeism, std, FMLA, Absence Management Program, WellCompForLife, absence management, Business Insurance

Employee Health Risk Reductions Result in Lower Costs For Employers Within 1 Year

Posted by Riley Enright

Apple-HealthAs an Employee Benefits Producer for R&R Insurance, I have access to some tools of our trade that business owners and HR professionals may not be privy to. I came across an article in Employee Benedit Adviser that discusses the multi-employer study by Health Management and Towers Watson. The study confirms what we've been promoting here at R&R. The bottom line for employers is that if you start to change employee behaviors, you will start seeing health care cost savings very quickly. The research is saying - within 1 year! Here is an excerpt from the research study as well as a few links to this information that I find worth sharing.

Although health risks have been directly associated with higher health care costs, and a growing body of research shows that improving health can generate a positive long-term ROI, there has been limited research on how soon cost savings begin accruing and the relative cost impact of health risk accumulation versus health risk reduction.“This research not only demonstrates the level of savings that can be expected, but it also begins to show how soon employers can expect to begin realizing some change in costs as a result of a change in health risk status,” said Steven Nyce, senior economist at Towers Watson and lead author of the study. “This is crucial information for employers that have made a commitment to improving the health and productivity of their workforce. It also should enable employers to attract more senior management support for investing in these programs.”

Implementing strategies to help workers stay healthy is critical to controlling costs. At R&R, we take wellness to a whole new level. Wellness programs will increase the health and longevity of employees and their families –which means that businesses can have a lot of control over their health insurance costs and the productivity of their employees – control that they don’t know they have. At R&R Insurance, we call this program WellCompForLife!

Join the WellCompForLife discussion on LinkedIn!

StayWell Health Management and Towers Watson’s breakthrough study confirms that population health management will reduce employee health risks and produce short-term cost savings in as little as one year.

Study: Preventing Health Risks Has Rapid Payoff

The study, “Association Between Changes in Health Risk Status and Changes in Future Health Care Costs: A Multi-employer Study,” was published in the November 2012 issue of Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (JOEM) and is available on the JOEM website.

For more information about WellCompForLife, about self-funding your health insurance plan, health care reform or basic employee benefits questions, contact knowledgebroker Riley Enright.

Topics: Employee Benefits, Wellness, Preventing Health Risks, Towers Watson, Riley Einright, StayWell Health Management, JOEM, WellCompForLife, Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine

Wellness Programs: ROI No Longer in Dispute

Posted by the knowledge brokers

Workplace_WellnessjpgBuilding a workplace culture of wellness is one of the best things employers can do to boost employee health – and to improve the bottom line.

When employers and workers join forces to battle high healthcare costs, everyone wins. Organizations across the U.S. are making incredible strides to achieve higher productivity, lower absenteeism and reduce claims. People who take a more active role in managing their own health enjoy the payoffs, too, in quality of life and cost savings.

Research shows that health risks are directly related to costs. As the risks increase, so do the costs. Heart disease, obesity and other costly conditions can be prevented when people engage in healthy behaviors both short term and long term.

Wellness Statistics:

  • For each employee who loses low-risk status, health costs go up $350/year. If they regain their low-risk status, they save $150/year.
  • High BMI individuals cost an average of $2326 (1996 dollars) more in annual health claims compared to healthy BMI individuals.
  • High-risk health plan members cost approximately $2000 over the average for annual medical claims.
  • High-risk employees (5+ risk factors) between ages 35-65 have medical claim costs of $3007-$4182 higher/year compared to low-risk employees in the same age group.

The most effective way to increase the proportion of employees in the low-risk category is to keep them from developing risk factors.

Encouraging physical activity and balanced nutrition, along with other healthy behaviors, is central to any health promotion program. Employees spend a significant portion of their waking hours on the job. Employers can significantly influence lifestyles by developing worksite programs to maintain healthy behaviors.

Creating a healthy workplace can involve 4 primary areas:

  1. Environment – Healthy food, smoke-free facility, physical activity and injury prevention policies.
  2. Programs – Health promotions, recreation programs, employee assistance programs and coaching.
  3. Culture – Incentive systems, role models, education.
  4. Policies – Medical coverage for preventive care, flextime, guidelines to monitor and reduce stress.

A review of 42 published studies on worksite health promotion programs shows these averages:

  • 28% reduction in sick leave absenteeism
  • 26% reduction in health costs
  • 30% reduction in workers’ compensation and disability management claim costs
  • $5.93 –to-$1 savings-to-cost ratio

Implementing strategies to help workers stay healthy is critical to controlling costs. At R&R, we take wellness to a whole new level. Wellness programs will increase the health and longevity of employees and their families –which means that businesses can have a lot of control over their health insurance costs and the productivity of their employees – control that they don’t know they have. At R&R Insurance, we call this program WellCompForLife!

Join the WellCompForLife discussion on LinkedIn!

For more information about WellCompForLife, about self-funding your health insurance plan, health care reform or basic employee benefits questions, contact knowledgebroker Laura Stehno.

Topics: Employee Benefits, Wellness, Laura Stehno, worksite health, wellness roi, bmi, WellCompForLife, wellness programs, healthy workplace, corporate wellness

Concern Over Health Reform Changes Causes Drop in Productivity

Posted by Stephanie Riesch-Knapp

HeadacheForty-four percent of surveyed employees are concerned that their employer may reduce their benefits. As well, two-thirds are very concerned about having access to affordable health insurance as well as having enough money to cover increasing out-of-pocket medical costs.

These concerns have a negative impact on employee productivity. Employees who report being concerned about having access to affordable health insurance are also more likely to report distraction and stress at work and a decrease in their work quality.

Here are 3 ways you can reduce the stress that reform changes are having on your employees, and preserve productivity in the face of health care reform:

  1. Offer supplemental Health Options
    Voluntary supplemental health benefits such as accident, critical illness, dental, disability and vision coverages help employees cope with unplanned medical costs.
  2. Cultivate Wellness to Promote Productivity
    Healthy employees mean fewer costly medical interventions and absences and more productive employees. Wellness programs can work with proper communication, management buy-in and education.
  3. Keep Employees in the Loop
    Health Care Reform is a complex issue, and many employees are in the dark about how it will impact them. An ongoing communication plan to keep employees informed as the company considers its options and makes decisions can reduce concerns and help maintain productivity.

At R&R, we take wellness to a whole new level. Wellness programs will increase the health and longevity of employees and their families –which means that businesses can have a lot of control over their health insurance costs and the productivity of their employees – control that they don’t know they have. At R&R Insurance, we call this program WellCompForLife!

Join the WellCompForLife discussion on LinkedIn!

For more information about WellCompForLife, about self-funding your health insurance plan, health care reform or basic employee benefits questions, contact knowledgebroker Laura Stehno.

Topics: Employee Benefits, Wellness, Health Reform, Health Care Reform, Voluntary Benefits, WellCompForLife, Reduce stress, employee productivity, Business Insurance

Feds Set a Wellness Incentive Standard Under PPACA

Posted by Pete Frittitta

Workplace_WellnessjpgThe IRS, EBSA and HHS developed the new group wellness program standards to implement Section 1201 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). PPACA Section 1201 lets group health plans offer wellness programs, but it prohibits plans from using the programs to discriminate against people with health problems.

The federal agencies -- the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) -- said today they will compromise by requiring wellness incentive programs to use a "reasonable design."

"These final regulations state that a wellness program is reasonably designed if it has a reasonable chance of improving the health of, or preventing disease in, participating individuals, and is not overly burdensome, is not a subterfuge for discrimination based on a health factor, and is not highly suspect in the method chosen to promote health or prevent disease," agency officials said in a preamble to the final rule, Incentives for Nondiscriminatory Wellness Programs in Group Health Plans (CMS-9979-F) (RIN 0938-AR48).

At R&R, we take wellness to a whole new level. Wellness programs will increase the health and longevity of employees and their families –which means that businesses can have a lot control over their health insurance costs and the productivity of their employees – control that they don’t know they have. At R&R Insurance, we call this program WellCompForLife!

Join the WellCompForLife discussion on LinkedIn!

For more information about WellCompForLife, about self-funding your health insurance plan, health care reform or basic employee benefits questions, contact knowledgebroker Laura Stehno.

Topics: Employee Benefits, Wellness, Health Reform, WellCompForLife

wordpress-post-4621

Posted by the knowledge brokers

“Wellness” is more than just a buzzword. Wellness means having the energy and vitality to be productive, and feel and perform your best. It’s our greatest opportunity to restore Americans and American businesses to better health. Your company’s healthy journey begins now. Step by step, employee by employee, to a new culture of health and a healthier bottom line.

Take a look around. What can you do to make your worksite a healthier environment?

  • Have you checked your vending machines lately?
  • Got stairs? Anyone using them?
  • Are you sending out reminders about how to get healthier and avoid injuries.

Helping your employees improve their health is one of the best long-term strategies for reducing your health care costs. Most people spend 53% of their waking hours at work; you have an incredible opportunity to change the lives of the people you see and work with everyday.

The single issue driving the cost of medical, pharmacy, disability, behavioral health, worker’s compensation, absenteeism and presenteeism (coming to work when you’re sick) is the lifestyle choices people make.

  • Chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease account for 75% of our nation’s health care costs.
  • Obesity costs employers $45 billion annually in medical costs and lost productivity.
  • The excess cost to employers of employees who use tobacco, factoring in increased medical cost and loss of productivity increases to approximately $3,400 per year per smoking employee.

When your employees are healthy, there’s a healthy chance that:

  • Productivity increases
  • Premiums or total medical spending may be reduced

When your employees experience fewer health complications, the result is a healthier, more productive workforce and potentially lower overall health care costs. It’s estimated that over 10 years, cumulative medical cost savings through reduced obesity rates could reach $282.6 billion.

Your Worksite Wellness team will assist you in choosing health screenings, health seminars and other wellness events that will work best for your employees. Help employees identify possible health risks and how they can lower them and start enjoying a healthier life or understand their benefits and treatment options so they’ll be able to make more informed decisions. Once you get a good idea, you can better choose which wellness programs will go over well, so employees will be more likely to participate. Your leaders can be your best wellness champions by sending emails directly to employees encouraging them to participate. Other ideas can include:

  • Decide what the focus of your program will be: awareness, education, behavior change, culture enhancement, etc.
  • How often will you have an onsite program and how long will it run?
  • Who’s the targeted audience: staff only, spouses, dependents, retirees?
  • Consider interventions that would impact both the low-risk and high-risk staff.
  • Identify incentives that will increase participation such as low cost giveaways for participation or raffle/door prizes like fitness equipment, lunches, gift certificates or even paid time off.

Your wellness team should be a winning combination of management, front line staff and employees from every health status. Lay out a specific plan for your wellness campaign.

Topics: Workers Compensation, Employee Benefits, Wellness, Health Reform, Healthcare, Real Life Examples, WellCompForLife

The New Definition of Presenteeism

Posted by the knowledge brokers

HeadacheMore attention is being paid to Presenteeism than ever before. If you were to google Presenteeism, you'll get the long-standing definition: going to work while one is sick.

At R&R, we believe that Presenteeism is much more than that. We include anything that could hinder the employee from performing at their very best or maximum capacity. Of course being ill is top of the list, but here are a multitude of additional things that could cause presenteeism for your employees:

  • Diabetes
  • Arthritis
  • Allergies
  • Chronic Pain
  • Migraines
  • Stress
  • Caregiver concerns
  • Insomnia
  • Financial worries
  • Pre-occupation with health problems
  • Depression

Employers are now understanding that they can have an enormous positive effect for the quality of life of their employees through wellness and health benefits initiatives - which will rebound into more effective and productive employees and ultimately improve the bottom line.

At R&R, we take wellness to a whole new level. Wellness programs will increase the health and longevity of employees and their families –which means that businesses can have a lot control over their health insurance costs and the productivity of their employees – control that they don’t know they have. At R&R Insurance, we call this program WellCompForLife! Join the WellCompForLife discussion on LinkedIn!

For more information about WellCompForLife, about self-funding your health insurance plan, health care reform or basic employee benefits questions, contact knowledgebroker Laura Stehno.

Topics: Return to Work, Workers Compensation, Employee Benefits, Wellness, WellCompForLife