Unhealthy employees are bad for business, but healthy employees save money.
There has been increasing report and observation that overweight employees are a financial disadvantage to employers. Hence, should employer use Body Mass Index (BMI) as a factor to determine desirable candidates for insurance is a debate that has been on going.
Obesity is associated with a broad range of health issues. The Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine reported in a survey of overweight and obese people who more than half of them indicate that they suffer from at least one of the 3 leading “heart – circulatory” related illness such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and heart disease.
Workers’ compensation covers the cost of the medical claims and disability claims for workers who are injured on the job. Mounting evidence from research by NCCI (National Council on Compensation Insurance in USA), that when an overweight employee make a claim, they are more likely to have longer lasting injuries or become unable to return to work. That means, insurance company will have to make a bigger pay out and ultimately, increase the premium subsequently.
A company that has lower percentage of obese employees can document and negotiate for lower worker compensation insurance rates. As such, it makes good sense for company to make comprehensive preventive wellness program a priority.
Therefore, company can play a role in prevention by putting in place program to improve lifestyle choices, nutrition and fitness. Ultimately, it is up to the individuals to take responsibility for their own health. But, a wellness program will go a long way to improving financial performance for the company.
Does your company have a wellness program to look after you?
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