Employee Health Benefits: Wellness Program Trends in Self-Insurance



  • Employee health benefits such as well-being programs provide companies with tools to help improve employee health holistically.
  • Current well-being program trends focus on health screenings, healthy lifestyle coaching, and mental health support.
  • Companies with self-funded health insurance can build employee well-being programs into their coverage in order to lower long-term healthcare expenses.
  • Self-funding offers you the freedom to customize your coverage to support employee health benefits trends.



Employee health benefits such as well-being programs can positively impact employee health and increase motivation and productivity. Recent well-being program trends indicate a move toward programs that address stress reduction, healthy lifestyle choices, health screening options for preventative care, and mental health support.


Building an employee well-being program into your  self-insured group medical captive plan can benefit your employees’ health and reduce your company’s healthcare expenses.


Well-Being Program Trends in 2022


According to the Kaiser Family Foundation’s (KFF) 2021 Employee Benefits Survey, a growing number of businesses offer well-being programs to employees. Post-pandemic, 34% of larger firms and 17% of smaller firms with between 50 and 199 have expanded existing well-being programs to meet the needs of remote workers.


Approximately 50% of smaller companies have shifted their well-being programs to reflect current behavioral health trends.


Health Screenings

Health screenings are among the top well-being program trends for employers. Many firms offer screening and risk assessments to assess employee health. Health risk assessments are questionnaires that an employee fills out regarding their physical health, stress levels, and lifestyle factors.


In addition to digital health risk assessments, many companies offer biometric screenings for employees. A biometric screening is an in-person measurement of physical health markers like weight, BMI, height, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels.


The KFF reports that 26% of small firms offer employees the opportunity to undergo biometric screening and that 13% of small firms allow a wide range of providers to perform these screenings.


Healthy Lifestyle Coaching

Encouraging a healthy lifestyle is a staple of employee well-being programs and continues as a current trend. According to the KFF report, a significant portion of employers offer well-being programs that encourage a healthy lifestyle.


These programs do this through:

  • Exercise programs
  • Health coaching
  • Nutritional education
  • Weight-loss programs
  • Smoking cessation programs


The KFF survey found that of small firms with employee well-being programs, 42% offer smoking or tobacco cessation programs, 44% offer weight-loss programs, and 48% offer behavioral lifestyle change programs. The numbers for larger firms are 69%, 63%, and 71%, respectively.


One of the benefits of self-funded health insurance is the ability to customize your plan for your employees’ needs and not implement programs you don’t need. For example, if you don’t have a lot of smokers, it may not be worthwhile to introduce a cessation program. The beauty of a self-insured plan is you can custom tailor it to better meet the needs of your employees and affordably provide higher quality care.


Workplace Challenges




Workplace challenges are emerging as a popular element of employee well-being programs. Corporate Wellness Magazine reports that some businesses promote morale and employee well-being by hosting fitness contests, office marathons, and obstacle course competitions.


Roundstone participated in the Cleveland Corporate Challenge this summer, and it brought different departments together, encouraged fitness, fueled our competitive spirit, and just made for a whole lot of fun! The challenge also ties directly to one of our core values: Live well.


Vaccination Programs

Many well-being programs include vaccination programs. These programs provide education on the importance of vaccines and provide opportunities and incentives for employees who keep their routine vaccinations up to date.


Mental Health Support

The increase in mental health issues brought on by the pandemic has prompted greater focus on mental health support. Many firms offer well-being programs with tools that provide mental health support, stress management education, and online counseling services.


The KFF found that 38% of small companies and 58% of larger companies provide or have expanded virtual counseling services to help employees cope with mental health challenges.


Many well-being programs offer stress management programs that provide tools and techniques for dealing with stress and anxiety. These may include a focus on mindfulness and meditation, which have been shown to reduce blood pressure and cortisol levels as well as anxiety and depression.


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Digital Health Tools

As behavioral trends indicate a push toward digital healthcare tools, employee well-being programs are following the same path. Fifteen percent of small firms surveyed by the KFF added digital content or programs to their employee well-being programs in recent years.


Many firms offer telehealth coaching and counseling, and at least 8% of small firms increased well-being program integration with wearable devices. In addition, many well-being programs use digital engagement tools to keep employees updated on using their health benefits.


These tools send reminders and help employees track the well-being program benefits they are using. They also send educational messages that keep employees engaged with the well-being program.


Related: How to Incentivize Engagement in an Employee Well-Being Program


Employee Assistance Programs


Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) can help provide a variety of well-being services to employees, from financial planning to short-term counseling and a host of other benefits, to help assess, address, and resolve personal issues. At Roundstone, we offer Ulliance to employees, but there are many to choose from, depending on your needs.


EAPs can help to support your employees, manage costs more effectively, and improve overall productivity and well-being.


Cost-Effectiveness of Employee Well-Being Programs in a Self-Insured Plan


Employee well-being programs offer self-funded employers a cost-effective solution for improving employee health and reducing healthcare costs. A Harvard study found that for every dollar spent on employee wellness programs, healthcare costs decreased by $3.27. Absenteeism also dropped, saving employers about $2.73 for every dollar invested.


How Self-Funded Group Captive Insurance Supports Employee Health Benefits Trends




Self-funded group captive insurance with Roundstone supports your company in implementing employee benefits such as well-being programs. Roundstone’s affordable small business health insurance offers you the freedom and control to customize your plan to include well-being trends like biometric screenings, healthy lifestyle education, and online access to counseling.


With Roundstone and your benefits advisor, you design your health insurance plan to meet the needs of your members. From writing your summary plan description (SPD) to choosing your solution providers, you have the freedom to design your self-insured plan your way.


Related: You’re In Control: Group Captives Offer Freedom of Choice 


Customize Your Employee Health Benefits With Roundstone’s Self-Insured Solution


In implementing a well-being program, you have the control to decide which areas to focus on. You can work with vendors who provide nutritional information and weight-loss programs and provide biometric screenings so employees can track their health progress. You can also build incentives into your self-insured plan, such as gift cards, additional paid time off, or other prizes for participating in the program.


With the freedom to develop your plan and control your healthcare costs, you will see a high ROI on your investment in self-insurance and reap year-over-year savings with a Roundstone self-funded insurance plan.


Contact a benefits advisor with Roundstone to discover how a self-insured group medical captive plan can benefit your small to midsize business and save you thousands in health insurance expenses.


The-guide-that-could-save-you-thousands_Employee Health Benefits: Wellness Program Trends_Roundstone Insurance




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