Health Plan Innovations in Worksite Wellness

Wellness Banner

Americans spend a large part of their day – and their lives – at work. Health insurance plans and many employers recognize that the workplace provides an ideal setting for implementing programs and initiatives to improve the health of employees; and as a result, curb health care costs, reduce absenteeism and increase productivity, as well as boost morale.

The evidence around the positive effects of workplace health promotion has been growing over the past three decades. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has published research that found that well-designed, evidence-based programs work to improve health and productivity.1. In addition to the benefits that workplace programs can have for employees’ health, research is demonstrating that evidence-based worksite wellness programs have the potential to reduce costs for employers and in some cases enable employers to get a positive return-on-investment.

Experts have identified six elements frequently found among best practices2., and the health plan programs featured in these profiles are utilizing these elements:

  • Organizational commitment;
  • Incentives for employees to participate;
  • Effective screening and triage;
  • State-of-the-art theory and evidence-based interventions;
  • Effective implementation; and
  • Ongoing program evaluation.

Infographic imageWorksite Wellness Innovations Infographic
Highlights the impact unhealthy lifestyles have on our nation, and describes best practices and trends in health plan worksite wellness programs.



Plans and Programs 

The health insurance plans profiled demonstrate health plans’ commitment to improving the health and well-being of their employees and members. These innovative programs are comprehensive, evidence-based and follow best practices, and are achieving impressive results in participant satisfaction and health outcomes. The programs combine personal health assessments, health coaching, culture and policy changes in the work  environment, and incentives to help employers and their employees tackle health risks that lead to illness, absenteeism, lost productivity, and higher health care costs.


1. Task Force Community Preventive Services. Proceedings of the Task Force Meeting: Worksite Reviews. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2007. 

2. Goetzel RZ, Roemer EC, Liss-Levinson RC, and Samoly DK. 2008. Workplace Health Promotion: Policy Recommendations that Encourage Employers to Support Health Improvement Programs for their Workers A Prevention Policy Paper Commissioned by Partnership for Prevention: