From eating better to exercising more, the new year often brings a renewed focus on health. For some of your employees, it may be time to check in with their doctors and schedule annual physicals.
Prioritizing routine annual care is not only important for the health of your employees, but it’s also important for health of your business. Keep reading for important information you need to know about preventive care and your employees.
What is preventive care?
Preventive care—or routine care—includes annual check-ups, immunizations, and certain tests and screenings. Keeping up with preventive care can help your employees detect or prevent serious medical problems before they become major. Most health plans must cover a set of preventive services at no cost to your employees as long as services are delivered by a doctor or other provider in your plan’s network.1
Some examples of preventive care include:
- Annual check-up: This is a routine visit with a primary care provider where all areas of health are reviewed. Annually visiting the doctor can help providers guide employees to make choices that promote better health and catch health problems early, when they’re easier and less costly to treat.
- Flu shot: Typically received annually in the fall, this helps protect employees from certain strains of the flu.
- Vaccinations: During annual check-ups, doctors can help your employees determine if they’re due for vaccinations like measles, mumps, rubella, polio etc.
- Cancer screenings: Depending on gender and age, it may be time for your employees to receive certain cancer screenings, such as a mammogram, cervical cancer screening, colorectal cancer screening, lung cancer screening, or prostate cancer screening. Check out these guidelines from Washington National’s community partner, American Cancer Society, for cancer screening guidelines.
Why is preventive care important for your business?
Preventive care is important for your business because you care about the well-being of your employees—and because it impacts your bottom line!
- Healthy employees are less likely to call in sick and they help reduce presenteeism (lost productivity that occurs when employees aren’t fully functioning due to illness or injury).
- Healthy employees are less likely to suffer from costly on-the-job injuries, reducing workers’ compensation claims.
- Healthy employees are less likely to need expensive ER visits, hospital stays or surgery, which can positively affect your health insurance premiums.
According to the CDC, preventable chronic conditions cost U.S. employers $36.4 billion a year!2
How can I encourage my employees to prioritize preventive care?
Here are four ideas to help you support a healthier, happier team:
1. Raise awareness the preventive care is 100% covered by insurance
HALF of U.S. adults have skipped some sort of health care in the past year because of cost!3 Some employees may be avoiding an annual check-up because they’re afraid of medical bills. Helping your employees understand what’s covered under their benefits may encourage them to make routine care appointments.
2. Give employees paid time off dedicated to preventive care
Employees don’t want to use vacation days for visiting the doctor, so you can incentivize routine preventive care by providing employees with dedicated paid time off for doctor visits. This perk will go a long way in building employee happiness!
3. Provide supplemental health insurance with wellness benefits
Some Washington National supplemental health insurance products include wellness benefits that are payable for annual exams, tests or screenings. When your employees use these wellness benefits, they will receive direct cash benefits just for visiting the doctor!
4. Provide access to benefits advocacy services
Visiting the doctor involves a bit of administrative work that your employees may be avoiding. However, a benefits advocacy service may be able to relieve your employees of these time-consuming tasks, such as finding an in-network doctor, making appointments and transferring medical records.
We’re here for you!
Preventive care is important for both your employees and for your business! Find out how Washington National can help you make preventive care a priority at your business by contacting us here.
1Healthcare.gov, Preventive health services, https://www.healthcare.gov/coverage/preventive-care-benefits/, https://www.healthcare.gov/coverage/preventive-care-benefits/, accessed 2023.
22Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Workplace Health Promotion, https://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/resources/publications/factsheets/workplace-health.htm, June 2022.
3Kaiser Family Foundation, Americans’ Challenges with Health Care Costs, https://www.kff.org/health-costs/issue-brief/americans-challenges-with-health-care-costs/, December 2021.