Wellness Programs Can Reduce Health Care Costs, But Can Your Bank Afford the Legal Risks?
Lane Powell Attorneys Katheryn Bradley, Craig Day and Mark McBride co-authored an article in the March/April 2013 issue of Washington Bankers Association’s (“WBA”) Issues and Answers magazine titled “Wellness Programs Can Reduce Health Care Costs, But Can Your Bank Afford the Legal Risks?” In the article, Bradley, Day and McBride discussed wellness programs as a means of reducing employee medical costs, as well as tips for creating a lawful program.
Between 2003 and 2012, the cost of employer-provided health care plans increased 62 percent. In this landscape of rising costs, banks, like many other employers, are turning to creative solutions. One option is wellness programs, which provide employees with incentives to engage in healthy behaviors. These programs have spread in both size and importance. According to one survey, 68 percent of employers provided employees with wellness programs and 53 percent have extended their programs to cover dependents, such as spouses and children. This is not surprising given the potential benefits. For every dollar spent on wellness programs, medical costs fall by $3.27 and absenteeism costs fall by $2.73.