Wait…what ARE wellness dollars?
Wellness dollars are fund that insurance providers offer to reimburse you for the investment in your company’s wellness initiatives. They actually set aside extra dollars for you to use! These funds can go a long way in supplementing or reimbursing existing activities that help create a healthier workplace. The trick is to learn what the rules are for cashing them in so you can make the most of them.
Don’t Leave Money on the Table.
Wellness dollars can be used for a wide variety of programs, from health assessments or smoking cession programs, to gym memberships. But if you don’t use them within your plan year, you lose them. Here are some tips for getting the most of your money:
Tip #1: Talk to Your Insurance Provider.
- You can’t spend your wellness dollars if you don’t know you have them! Ask your broker if they health and wellness incentives to be used for your wellness program efforts. These are most often referred to as “Wellness Dollars,” although they can also be referred to as a wellness reimbursement, wellness credit, or reward.
Tip #2: Learn What’s Covered.
- Each carrier will have its own rules for how wellness dollars can be spent and on what. For example, some may cover nutrition classes, gym memberships, gift cards, or equipment, others may not. Ask your representative for a complete list of what is an approved wellness dollar expense, as well as whether there is a cap on the amounts or a restricted time frame.
Tip #3: Partner with a Reputable Vendor Who Can Help You Create a Strategy.
- Partnering with a corporate wellness company with a proven track record of helping organizations create wellness programs that are appropriate for a company’s budget, size, and culture is key to getting the most out of your wellness dollars. Hire a vendor you trust and who offers a variety of solutions, from educational offerings and team challenges, to virtual activities. They can help you focus your dollars on efforts that involve the most people (employees and family members).
Tip #4: It Doesn’t Hurt to Ask – Negotiate!
- If your provider doesn’t offer wellness dollars, don’t be afraid to negotiate with them when it’s contract time. If your claims are typically low, ask for dollars to initiate programs keep them that way. If your claims are high, and you are looking at a bump in your rates, ask for dollars to help improve your employees’ health.
Looking for ways to spend your wellness dollars? Contact HealthWorks at [email protected]