Utilities Employers Turn to Wellness Programs to Suppress Rising Costs

August 8, 2012    

Kansas City, Kan.— In 2012, roughly two-thirds of utilities industry employers experienced increases to their medical insurance premiums, according to the 2012 Compensation Data Utilities survey results. The average increase reported by these organizations was 11.6 percent, down from 12.5 percent reported in 2011. Despite the drop in the average premium increase, utilities organizations still contribute 10.4 percent of their total payroll costs toward providing medical insurance to their employees. Employers everywhere are looking for ways to curtail rising healthcare costs and as a result, many are turning to wellness programs.

For years, wellness programs have consisted of traditional options such as weight management, tobacco cessation programs or offering flu shots and immunizations. But over the last few years, some wellness options have shown a more accelerated rate of use. Biometric screenings, which measure an individual’s blood pressure, body mass index (BMI), cholesterol and blood glucose in an effort to identify risk factors, are a good example of this trend. In 2009, biometric screenings were offered at only 23.8 percent of utilities organizations surveyed, compared to 33.9 percent in 2012. Physical fitness facility access, annual physicals and offering rewards and incentives have also increased over the last few years.

“The upshot of a well-executed wellness program does not lie just with reduced medical costs,” said Amy Kaminski, director of marketing for Compdata Surveys. “Many employers are experiencing a positive impact on their bottom line as a result of greater employee productivity and reduced absenteeism.”

Other methods used by utilities employers to reduce and contain costs include using a network of healthcare professionals at 79 percent, increasing the employee portion of the premium at 52.9 percent and offering disease management at 63.9 percent. Nearly five percent of utilities organizations report a surcharge for enrolling an employee’s spouse on their medical plan, if the employee’s spouse is eligible for benefits under their employer’s own plan.

About the Survey
Compensation Data 2012 Utilities provides a comprehensive summary of pay data, benefits information and pay practices with an effective date of February 1, 2012. More than 100 industry-specific job titles and 400 benchmark titles were surveyed ranging from entry-level to top executives, with data collected from more than 1,200 utilities employers across the country.

Compdata Surveys has been providing comprehensive data at affordable prices to organizations from coast to coast since 1988 and is the nation’s leading compensation and benefits survey data provider. Thousands of organizations provide data in each of our eight industry specific surveys each year, ensuring the reliability of our results. For more information about the compensation and benefits surveys, contact Michelle Willis at (800) 300-9570. 


For more information, contact:
Michelle Willis
(800) 300-9570

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