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No Pain, Lots of Gain

Filed under: Healthcare, Using Ad Specialties

ASI is always researching new markets and industry trends, and Counselor magazine recently reported on a big one: incentives used in wellness programs.

Turns out, incentives are key to encouraging employee participation in wellness programs. An Incentive Research Foundation report shows only one in five people will participate in wellness programs if there are no incentives. In fact, offering incentives increases participation at a minimum of 60%.

Although research clearly shows companies can attain a significant ROI through wellness programs, right now only 44% of companies are using promotional products as incentives to get more employees involved. That means there’s clearly room for growth in this market.

It’s good for business – and it’s great for reducing skyrocketing health-care costs. According to a 2010 government report, between 70% and 75% of the $2.5 trillion spent every year on U.S. health care is used for treating preventable conditions. Incentives can help turn the tide.

Popular items used in incentive programs range from logoed body mass index calculators and jars filled with almonds instead of candy to wristbands, pedometers and backpacks – many carrying printed cards with health tips.

The timing couldn’t be better to tap this market, as health-care reform is giving smaller companies help in launching wellness programs through grant money, tax credits, educational surveys and online portals. As Counselor senior writer Dave Vagnoni reports, by 2014, companies will be able to offer rewards of up to 30% of the total cost of an employee’s insurance coverage.

If you haven’t already, read the entire Counselor story. I promise you it’s a real eye-opener.

Let me know what success you’ve had with the wellness incentives market by posting a comment or e-mailing me here. I’m also on Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.

How’s Health Care Affecting Your Business?

Filed under: Healthcare

No matter what you think of recent health care legislation, there’s no question it’s raised a number of key issues for businesses.  Here at ASI, we held an all-company meeting recently to explain particulars of our health care plan’s annual renewal for our staff.  How is your business responding?

In our own industry, we’ve posted an online poll on the right side of asicentral.com asking if you’re concerned that the new health care bill will further limit your ability to sell items to pharma companies and medical device manufacturers.  So far, 54% say “yes.”

These and other issues critical to our industry even prompted ASI senior vice president Dale Denham to travel to Washington, D.C. with 30 other ad specialty professionals to lobby Congress.  Along with health care, the group discussed recent legislation limiting the number of reporting exceptions granted to drug and medical device companies regarding payments and gifts to doctors.

Companies must now report any gifts or payments made to doctors that are individually worth more than $10 or collectively worth more than $100 in one year.  Further, starting in 2013, all payment disclosures will appear on a public website.

Dale says one of the most important take-backs for him is the importance of letting representatives know how you feel about any and all legislation impacting our industry. He suggests you write, call or — better yet — visit their office in person.  Find your senator here.

This week, Congress adjourned for its two-week Easter recess, which means many of your representatives are in their home district.  Drop by their office and let them know your thoughts. 

How is your company responding to the health care legislation?  Let me know by posting a comment or emailing me here.  I’m also on Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.