No Pain, Lots of Gain

Tuesday November 22, 2011 | Filed under: Healthcare, Using Ad Specialties

ASI is always researching new markets and industry trends, and Counselor magazine recently reported on a big one: incentives used in wellness programs.

Turns out, incentives are key to encouraging employee participation in wellness programs. An Incentive Research Foundation report shows only one in five people will participate in wellness programs if there are no incentives. In fact, offering incentives increases participation at a minimum of 60%.

Although research clearly shows companies can attain a significant ROI through wellness programs, right now only 44% of companies are using promotional products as incentives to get more employees involved. That means there’s clearly room for growth in this market.

It’s good for business – and it’s great for reducing skyrocketing health-care costs. According to a 2010 government report, between 70% and 75% of the $2.5 trillion spent every year on U.S. health care is used for treating preventable conditions. Incentives can help turn the tide.

Popular items used in incentive programs range from logoed body mass index calculators and jars filled with almonds instead of candy to wristbands, pedometers and backpacks – many carrying printed cards with health tips.

The timing couldn’t be better to tap this market, as health-care reform is giving smaller companies help in launching wellness programs through grant money, tax credits, educational surveys and online portals. As Counselor senior writer Dave Vagnoni reports, by 2014, companies will be able to offer rewards of up to 30% of the total cost of an employee’s insurance coverage.

If you haven’t already, read the entire Counselor story. I promise you it’s a real eye-opener.

Let me know what success you’ve had with the wellness incentives market by posting a comment or e-mailing me here. I’m also on Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.