Risk Management And Employee Health

I just read a really interesting guest post at Workers’ Comp Insider by Gary Anderberg, PhD.  Gary asks whether employer sponsored wellness programs and disease management  can be viewed as risk management for the employer.  This makes perfect sense the way he described it, but it’s unclear at this point how the government will view money spent on programs designed to enhance employee health.  If they are counted in addition to the cost of health insurance, it might bump a lot of employer group health insurance plans into the realm of “Cadillac” coverage and subject the employers to financial penalties.  In that case, there will be little incentive for the employers to continue to provide the benefits.  But without considering things like tax penalties, it makes a lot of sense for employers to do everything that they can to protect the health of their workers.  It really is a question of risk management, and employers’ desires to protect their assets (in this case, their employees).  Gary’s article was included in this week’s Health Wonk Review, hosted by the Disease Management Care Blog.

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