That wellness and outreach health insurance stuff is a lot of touchy feely baloney!

How many times have I been told that one? Who is counting?… is a frequent response.

Wellness programs have become an industry of their own and I would tend to agree that many of them are over designed or just ineffective, but as a concept it is sound practice and employers who ignore this tool are making a mistake.

Let’s look at a story from AHIP today: “Chronic hypertension may increase risk of pregnancy complications” . There is the obvious human response that nobody wants to risk damage to somebody’s child. But many business owners might respond that they provide a quality medical plan and it is the mothers responsibility to be healthy for her child’s sake.

So let’s look at this from a less emotional perspective. What impact might hypertension and child birth have on an employer?

1. The hypertension may lead to a premature birth. The march of dimes reports that an  average preemie might cost $49,000 in year one versus $4.551 for a standard full term healthy baby.

2. Neonatal ICU costs average $3,000 per day, again that goes to the bottom line on the medical plan.

3. Parents incur a host of non covered costs (eg. hospital parking, co-insurance costs, child care for the children at home) which translate to stress on the employee and time off work.

4. If the mother is the employee she will be making a disability claim and if the child is premature she will be looking at FMLA. Each of these cause a loss of productivity not just for the mother but her concerned associates.

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For more information, contact Bill Weaver, 602-381-9900, Focus Benefits Group

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