Employee Involvement: Promoting Healthy Living
Acting on Generic Trends Data
An employer with a self-funded plan in place has the distinct advantage of learning from generic trends data that in no way identifies the patient or worker. Most fully insured employee benefit plans do not provide access to workforce health trends. Under the Federal Health Insurance Portability and Affordability Act (HIPAA) laws, employee personal health information is protected by privacy firewalls.
Plan data is valuable, for, as trends emerge, companies can identify areas for improvement and may introduce new employee health benefits or coverage that focuses on targeted areas and promotes healthy living. Many third party administrators (TPAs) will work with employers to implement wellness programs with incentives for employee participation, as well as disease management that offers one-on-one consultation. Other options range from on-site health risk assessments to professional health coaching.
A Population Focused on Health
What is the advantage of these education and engagement efforts as part of employee benefit plans? Workers who are actively involved in their own health can take steps to improve their overall wellbeing. This, in turn, can result in better outcomes for them and lead to fewer high-cost health claims in the long-term.
Self-funded plans administered by TPAs allow employers to better engage employees and promote healthy living. They offer the added benefit of access to and analysis of personally de-identified claims data, which offers opportunities for employers to incorporate flexible wellness-related programs based on a company’s unique health needs.