Corporate Wellness Is Personal Wellness
Corporate wellness and personal wellness are inseparable just as health insurance and life insurance are the same: Each complements the other, furthering the will to be the master of one's destiny, both physically and financially. For, in the absence of a workplace where companies educate and reward employees about everything from nutrition and exercise to economic security and family protection, a company cannot thrive.
It cannot be an environment of positive morale and high retention because, without the provision for or the encouragement to buy, respectively, health and life insurance, a business will not attract - and it will never keep - the men and women who transform the legal fiction of corporations-as-people into the reality of people-who-run-corporations.
In other words, companies have a duty to ensure their workers have insurance. The need for people to have health insurance is, for the most part, no longer in dispute. The politics of the issue are different, of course, but management and labor both understand that health insurance is, like car insurance or any other related safeguard that lowers the public's liability for paying for your (or mine) non-insurable actions, a matter of common sense.
We also know that health insurance guards against the unexpected assault of so many microbes, bacteria, viruses and genetic defects - we are all the carriers of imperfect ancestral scaffolding, in which our DNA has flaws and structural weaknesses - but it is the simple display of a card or bracelet or certificate, it is the fact that we have coverage that allows doctors to prevent a cold from mutating into pneumonia, or an infection into gangrene and the amputation of a limb.
That is the most direct example of how health insurance works. It saves lives, period. So, I applaud companies that emphasize the importance of health insurance as an individual right. But, within the broader discussion of corporate wellness and personal improvement, this conversation is not complete - unless the need to have life insurance assumes (as it must) its own degree of urgency.
I write these words from experience, as a one-time recipient of survivor's benefits, or rather, as the son of a young widow saved by the power of life insurance. I issue this statement as a witness to the most harrowing event imaginable, where, as a fourteen-year-old boy, I lost my father.
And, in the light of the present and with an eye towards the future, I offer this claim as an expert regarding health and life insurance.I present myself as the Founder of Local Life Agents, who is also an advocate for helping individuals get the life insurance they need.
In so doing, I seek to make corporate wellness the sort of catchall it should be: An idea that includes, by way of economic logic and moral decency, insurance to maintain the health of workers, and insurance to safeguard the same employees who may suffer a catastrophic emotional loss.
The latter can also leave a person financially devastated, unable to pay everyday bills and sustain their independence. Without life insurance, a company unintentionally forfeits its intellectual capital; it cedes its scientists and engineers, its visionary managers and inspiring colleagues, all because of an oversight that could have insulated these professionals from the aftershocks of a loved one's passing. Still, workers have a responsibility to make buying life insurance as easy and affordable as possible.
The Individual Mandate: Taking Control of Your Health
The economic merits of life insurance, as my own testimony reveals, are clear. But the cost of buying life insurance is very much a subject of corporate wellness and self-control. For example: The longer a person delays purchasing life insurance, or the more often that individual forgoes the chance to enjoy subsidized rates from an employer, time exacts its price; its perpetual movement - from youthful summers to the autumn of one's years - brings forth a ringing sound, neither celebratory in its chimes nor comforting in its volume.
It is the ringing of an alarm that one is too ill to get the coverage they should have had, when, in the not-so-distant past, they could have changed a curt no into a signed and approved instrument of protection. To avoid the register of that alarm, my advice to employees is straightforward: Take advantage of every corporate wellness program.
Enroll in every class about diet and nutrition. Attend every seminar about fitness and cardiovascular health. Audit every guest lecture about the mind-body connection and stress reduction.
Be good corporate citizens because the life you extend will be your own - and the lives you save (from financial ruin) will be the ones you hold dearest. That is the essence of corporate wellness.That is our summons to personal wellness.
About the Author
Brad Cummins is the Founder of Local Life Agents, an independent life insurance agency offering life insurance products in all 50 states.