What’s Going on with Health Care Reform and Workplace Culture?

Shelley SmithBlog, Workplace Culture

image by Jared Rodriguez

image by Jared Rodriguez

The 2010 health reform law required anyone with 50 or more workers to provide health insurance – something small businesses have been complaining about, loudly, for years.  Recently, the government said they could have more time to get it done.

What does that mean?

It will allow more time for companies to provide affordable health coverage and set up reporting systems. There are several published formal guidelines describing these transitions in various blogs. Currently, employers who don’t provide insurance must pay a $2,000 fine for each uninsured worker.

In 2009, the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research and Educational Trust found that 98 percent of firms with 200 or more employees offered health insurance. But just 59 percent of companies with three to 199 workers did, and just 46 percent of employers who had fewer than 10 staff.

It’s in part because health insurance premiums have soared, from an average $2,196 in 1999 to $4,824 in 2009 for a single person – far faster than wages or inflation have grown, Kaiser found.

Thus, about 13 percent of full-time workers had no health insurance at all in 2009.

The new law also defines a full-time employee as someone who works 30 hours per week, averaged over the course of a month, rather than the traditional definition of 40 hours per week.

How can workplace culture help? It’s time to rethink wellness.

Your business is important, and so are the employees who make it great. When they’re healthier, they’re happier, and when they’re happier, they’re more engaged at work. That’s why having a wellness program that works—one that’s used, enjoyed, and proven—is crucial. If you’ve tried programs before with little success, don’t be discouraged. Keep reading and find the 10 keys to bringing a successful wellness program to your workforce. You’ll see how motivating your employees to feel better about themselves and their work is easier—and more important—than you may think. Just consult this handy checklist before embarking on your next employee wellness program.

  1. Put wellness front and center
  2. Some viruses are good – make participation contagious
  3. Make wellness friendly – more like Facebook, less textbook
  4. Keep them engaged by making it a game
  5. Make it cooperative – form teams
  6. Make it competitive – and offer incentives
  7. Make it fun for everyone
  8. Measure sustained engagement and healthy behaviors
  9. Make your case by refocusing the ROI conversation
  10. Some companies “get it” and some don’t, so choose carefully

Would you like to hear more?

Contact Premier Rapport so you can walk through an alternative approach on how corporate wellness can help you take the sting out of health care reform and lead to healthy, engaged, productivem and loyal employees.