When Corporate Wellness Stumbles, Benefits Platforms Help

Over the last decade, health benefits managers have tested wellness programs with largely disappointing results. For example, a Rand survey of 50 employers found that the workplace wellness programs yielded very “limited” improvement. The survey found that employees that participated in the programs only lost an average of one pound a year, and cholesterol levels did not decrease considerably.

“We do not detect statistically significant decreases in costs and use of emergency department and hospital care as a result of the [wellness] programs,” research said in the Rand report.

Good Ideas, Poor Execution

Why have so many wellness programs failed? Although they aimed to keep employees healthy and happy, they had a number of shortcomings. They were one-size-fits-all, they lacked accountability, they delivered limited employee engagement, and they were difficult for HR teams to manage. For many employers, the end result was that wellness simply became an additional expense, rather than a cost-saver.

Today, employers have more tools than ever to choose from to improve the health of their employees thanks to three key trends: virtual care, consumer apps and devices, and technology-enabled decision support. In offering one or a combination of these, employers hope that employee engagement will lead to beneficial results for both parties –- or, more specifically, healthier outcomes and lower costs.

Yet, the reality is far from this ideal. The technology has changed, but employers are still stuck with many point solutions that aren’t tailored to individual needs, with programs that people don’t use, and with no way to see what works and to adjust the program offerings on the fly. No other part of the enterprise is managed so poorly, yet few are a bigger expense than healthcare.

That’s why employers are increasingly beginning to rethink what that they need capture the value offered by the growing constellation of tools, apps, and services. They’re turning to a new category of software called an enterprise health benefits platform.

EHBP Delivers What Wellness Could Not — Results

An enterprise health benefits platform enables employers to provide personalized benefits. It brings together all of an employer’s preferred vendors in one dashboard and offers suggestions for new programs and tools from vendors to meet an employer’s specific goals. Employers can design and offer programs that are right for their companies and their individual employees, swapping components in and out as needed, and combining features to meet unique needs.

An enterprise health benefits platform provides data-driven insights to help determine return on investment (ROI).

An enterprise health benefits platform combines population health data with the information generated by users’ apps, wearables, and programs to produce insights into what programs actually improve health and save money. Benefits managers can look across their entire portfolio of solutions to observe what’s working and what’s not -– using metrics such as participation, engagement, and cost-effectiveness. Jiff provides real-time monitoring, enabling users to change tactics and adjust incentives and benefits with the click of a button. And does so in a way that preserves the privacy of employees and security of the data.

An enterprise health benefits platform provides a seamless user experience.

For employees and employers alike, the platform serves as a central hub for health benefits, eliminating multiple log-ins and administrative red-tape. If you’re an employee, it’s easy to find out what is on offered. If you’re an employer, you can easily see what programs people are using and what the results are overall. Moreover, an enterprise health benefits platform uses engaging design, game mechanics, and financial incentives to make that experience engaging so that the programs companies are investing in are actually used.

A Better Approach

From its compatibility with tools ranging from FitBit to Doctor on Demand’s video visits, to its flexibility allowing employers to interchange solutions, to its real-time monitoring and data insights, Jiff’s enterprise health benefits platform sets itself apart from traditional wellness programs. Ultimately, an enterprise health benefits platform is greater than the sum of its parts, helping transform point solutions into happier, healthier employees.

For more guides or information on improving your employee health benefits programs, visit Jiff’s Resources page.