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Employee Wellbeing Program Success Begins With Open Enrollment

10 Ways to Prepare for a Successful Wellbeing Program

Open enrollment season is a busy time for many of us in the employee benefits field. The best advice we have for helping to make open enrollment season easier is to begin planning and communicating early, especially when evaluating or implementing an employee wellbeing program.

If you plan to offer an employee wellbeing program in 2019, we recommend spending the weeks prior to open enrollment preparing. Here’s a list of 10 major items to consider as you plan your wellbeing program.

  1. Decide Whether to Tie Incentives for Your Wellbeing Program to the Medical Plan

    Determine criteria for 2019, incentive amount and plan communications (including appropriate compliance notices and EEOC regulatory updates).

  2. Verify the Program’s Compliance with all Federal and State Regulations

    Wellbeing programs are regulated by various federal agencies and regulations including the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), and the Americans with Disabilities (ADA) in addition to other various laws and regulations. For further guidance, you can access the Wellness Compliance Checklist and Compliance Chart here.

  3. Maximize Your Carrier Wellbeing Offerings

    If you will be changing your medical carrier, identify the wellbeing resources and tools that are included with your benefits plan. If you are beginning your worksite wellbeing journey, this is a great place to start.

  4. Plan a New Challenge or Revitalize a Popular Challenge from the Past

    Statistics show the highest employee participation rates are in the months of January and July. Use that momentum to start fresh in the New Year.

  5. Plan All Activities and Events with Wellbeing Vendors

    Events such as the biometric screening event, flu shot clinic and blood drives need to be planned as far ahead as June or July to guarantee preferred dates.

  6. Check in with Your Wellbeing Champions/Wellbeing Committee

    Assess committee membership, then judge whether it’s necessary to recruit additional members or phase out members who were inactive.

  7. Survey Employees

    Solicit employee feedback as close to the end of the program year as possible in order to adjust your wellbeing benefits program to reflect the current priorities of your employees. Include specific questions regarding health and wellbeing needs and interest.

  8. Evaluate the Program

    You can use the survey results to evaluate and refine specific parts of your program, like budgeting, setting goals and objectives, and creating an annual calendar. Successfully communicating results to the company leadership will grant you more support. Use claims data and carrier health assessment aggregate reports and/or biometric screening aggregate reports to target population needs.

  9. Encourage Healthy Behaviors in and Around Your Workplace

    You can paint your stairwell a bright color, or hang artwork to encourage stairwell usage. Hang signs that encourage employees to get up and move during the workday. Click here for free resources from the CDC on physical changes you can make to increase stairwell use.

  10. Review Company Policies That Affect Overall Workplace Wellbeing

    You might want to consider adding workplace wellbeing policies that could improve the culture of health at your organization. Healthy meals for meetings, flex time or a tobacco-free policy could improve the culture of health at your organization. Consider implementing in 2019 or 2020, if not already in place.

There is no exact science to what makes a wellbeing plan work for each organization. Re-evaluating each year is fundamental to tailoring the right fit.

Connect with your OneDigital Health and Wellbeing Consultant for support with your workplace wellbeing initiatives and strategy.


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