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Mar 24, 201401:17 PMThe Bottom Line

with contributors from Associated Bank

Create a consumerism strategy to get the most out of your health plan

(page 2 of 2)

While consumer-driven plans support and encourage consumerism more than traditional health plans do, employers should not rely solely on their plan design to promote wise spending and good health. You can’t suddenly drop them into your benefits mix and expect them to work.

Employers should speak to a benefits consultant about how to integrate a consumer-driven health plan into their consumerism strategy and educate their workforce.

Workplace wellness and consumerism

Consumer strategies integrate well with wellness strategies. Physical and fiscal fitness go together to round out a comprehensive consumerism strategy.

Employees who are healthy tend to have lower health care costs and therefore have a greater opportunity to save their HSA or HRA funds for future use.

By adding wellness incentives, such as a biometric-based health plan that provides financial rewards to employees for maintaining healthy lifestyles, you create a strong synergy that reinforces your consumerism strategy.

The following graphic helps explain this concept:

Health care consumerism strategy

To build an effective consumerism strategy, you need to engage employees in all of these areas, although not necessarily in any particular order. My clients find that each area energizes and feeds off the others to create a very powerful dynamic. But if you neglect one of the areas, the whole system can be compromised.

Scott Fuller is Employee Benefits Practice Group Leader at Associated Financial Group.

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