The world economic recession is having a serious effect on the US healthcare marketplace and how employers and insurance agents buy health insurance and implement it. Employers are seeing huge budget cuts put into effect, large layoffs, and future expansion plans cancelled or slowed down. Even more important are budgets that are being cut or eliminated for new programs like corporate wellness programs. We are entering into a time where despite this negative downturn there is going to be potentially significant growth in the corporate wellness industry.
In talking to many large benefit consultants, insurance agents and even small and mid-size employers they are all starting to experience an increased interest and activity in wellness programs, despite the economy and slashed budgets. These specific requests are coming from employers that are financially hurting because of the economic crisis because in order to save money these employers are looking to cut costs anywhere, which include the costs of having an unhealthy workforce.
Employers are starting to realize that unless they get their workforce healthy their healthcare costs will continue to rise and put a huge strain on the bottom line and profitability and future growth. The real problem though is insurance agents and consultants are the "gatekeepers" for employers. They are the ones who advise the employer of new benefits and then educate and enroll employees and plan members on these benefits. If you asked 90% of the health insurance agents or consultants through the United States they would tell you that they don't know what corporate wellness is, or what corporate wellness programs are the best to implement and which ones will bring the best return on investment.
This is where education comes into play. It's the corporate wellness industry that needs to get up and start actively marketing harder then ever to teach and educate insurance agents and consulting firms around the country on the benefits and ROI of corporate wellness programs and which ones work. There is a learning curve and it takes time to teach this and even more time once the agent or consultant understands it for them to go out and start marketing it to employers. Timing is critical, because corporate wellness companies need to start doing this PRIOR to legislation going into effect in Congress on an tax credits or other advantages employers will get for implementing corporate wellness programs.
For agents and consultants reading this article, now is the time for you to partner with a corporate wellness company, become passionate about health and wellness and start educating your employer clients on corporate wellness. Agents and consultants who get involved with marketing corporate wellness will have a huge advantage over their competition. As healthcare costs rise, employers will be more receptive to agents and consultants who are bringing in creative and alternative ideas to lower healthcare costs. Even more importantly is agents will find that when they have an employer who successfully implements corporate wellness and sees the savings, they will become one of the largest marketing tools and testimonials that you will ever have, and be a new secret weapon in your marketing arsenal.
Employers who see success through corporate wellness programs are ten times as passionate towards screaming the success of the program than any other employee benefit program. They simply become raving fans. Corporate Wellness plans can also help replace lost income from companies where the employer has laid off employees, reduced the amount of group insurance premiums and reduced the agents commission. The economic recession is starting to provide some real opportunity in the corporate wellness industry if you are looking for those opportunities and try to seize upon them. Seize the opportunity and don't wait.
About the Author
Jonathan Edelheit is Editor-In-Chief of the Corporate Wellness Magazine, the only Corporate Wellness Magazine in the industry focused on Health and Wellness in the workplace. Mr. Edelheit has been involved in US healthcare for almost ten years and ran a national healthcare administrator for almost seven years that administered healthcare plans for insurance companies, employers and governments.
While running the healthcare administrator Mr. Edelheit started to implement the first corporate wellness programs there through many tools such as health risk assessments, tele-medicine, e-health and many more options. Mr. Edelheit has been featured or mentioned in hundreds of media publications and in February 2008 was featured as a visionary in US healthcare by Executive Managed Healthcare Magazine.
Mr. Edelheit also organizes the Corporate Wellness Conference which is the only dedicated national conference on corporate health and wellness in the country and which targets employers, health insurance agents and large consulting firms. Mr. Edelheit is also an attorney. Jonathan Edelheit may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org