Healthcare costs are skyrocketing across the country, putting heavy burdens on employees. According to a New York Times article, an average worker’s family healthcare plan is almost $4,000 a year.
These rising healthcare expenses are also affecting employers. To compensate for its rising health related costs, Tippecanoe County, Indiana, was forced to “contribute an additional $500,000 toward health insurance costs for county employees.”
This compensation resulted from a $7.1 million deficit created from payment toward employee health benefits in 2010. The council approved the plan and “set aside the $500,000 to cover the debt – allotting a significant portion of the county's $649,000 in undesignated funds.”
Although a burden to its budget, the county’s additional funding has allowed for some certainty that its proposal to establish an on-site employee wellness center will see the light of day. The wellness program will be designed to curtail ever-rising healthcare costs.
Dorothy Schneider in JConline.com notes, “As officials try to pay off this year's insurance bills, they also are looking ahead at ways to cut down on that expense in 2011. She added, “A new employee health clinic, focusing on wellness and prevention measures, is expected to open in February."
Wellness programs, such as the one Tippecanoe is proposing, are taking root throughout the country. Businesses are moving toward employee wellness programs as an effective strategy to help curtail healthcare and other related business expenses.