Participation In Wellness Program Could Pay Off For West U. Employees

November 19, 2008

In 2009, West U. employees may be able to reduce their health insurance contribution levels by participating in the city’s Employee Wellness Program, which kicked of in the spring of this year.


Earlier this year, the city contracted with Practiva Health as an independent “wellness partner.” The company provides a Web site that enables employees to enter in personal health and lifestyle information. The site then generates a report that gives employees an indication of areas they need to work on and advice on how to do so.


The site also features a point system, in which employees earn points based on lifestyle choices and physical activities they engage in. For example, if an employee enters in a 10-minute walk, they could earn 10 points. All personal health information is private – the city only receives information on the number of points an employee has earned.


The program is voluntary, but during the 2009 health insurance renewal process, the city will look into health insurance premium discounts based on participation


During Phase One of the Wellness Program, which ran through August, employees who registered with the site and recorded at least 250 points were eligible for an “Attitude is Everything” T-shirt. Employees who maintained at least 500 points were eligible for a drawing of $100 gift cards. Five employees won the gift cards.


Twenty-six percent of the city’s workforce participated in the program, and administrators are hoping that number will increase for Phase Two, which will include a bio-metric screening for all employees. Phase Two is beginning now, and will run through August of 2009. The screening and individual employee health assessment questionnaire from Practiva Health will create a baseline from which Practiva health will develop individual plans of action. Employees who take part in the screening are eligible for $25 gift cards.


The city will also offer various programs and speakers throughout Phase Two, as well as engage in “friendly competition” between employees.


InstantNewsWestu Staff

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