Although the majority of large companies provide employee wellness programs, few small businesses do. Despite employing 70% of US employees, small businesses have less reason to offer wellness, largely because health insurance carriers do not reduce premiums for achieved savings like they do with bigger companies. Health reform provides a financial motivation to help small businesses catch up through wellness grants.
Beginning in 2011, section 10408 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will provide $200M for small businesses to provide comprehensive wellness programs. Businesses must have less than 100 employees working at least 25 hours per week and must not have a current wellness program.
You will soon need to submit an application along with an agreement to implement programs “based on and consistent with evidence-based research.”
The fund appropriation and application protocols are currently being finalized by the Secretary of Health and Human Services.
Here is what you need to know to jumpstart your opportunity:
1. Get ready – You will be required to submit a proposal for a comprehensive wellness program that meets guidelines according to the Guide to Clinical Preventive Services, National Registry for Effective Programs and the Guide to Community Preventive Services. Develop your plan now.
2. Get Set – The grant program is only for companies who do not have an existing wellness program. Do not launch your program until you are caught up with the grant and application criteria.
3. Get connected – The guidelines and processes sound complicated, but they don’t have to be. Contact a high-level wellness expert for plan guidance, for application assistance and for timing updates to be among the first in line for funding. Wellco has been assisting with and receiving wellness grants for about 15 years. Contact us if we can help.
About Scott Foster and Wellco
Scott Foster is President of Wellco, based in Michigan. Wellco works with organizations who want to measurably improve health costs and conditions. Wellco specializes in health ROI systems, health risk appraisals, corporate wellness programs, speaking, and consulting. Wellco the developer of the award-winning HealthHammer (TM), the first and only Zero Trend Appraisal (R) system to help companies accurately benchmark and fully achieve flat health costs over time. For more information, visit www.wellcocorp.com or call 248-549-4247.
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