Why is the Workplace Wellness Grant program a four-year program?
Wellness experts state that it takes at least three years to realize a return-on-investment (ROI) from workplace wellness programs. So, we decided to make it a four-year program because we realized it would take time for the employer and the vendor to create a program and implement it. Three years is also a sufficient amount of time to observe a reduction in health care and workers' compensation costs.
Why has BWC decided to award $15,000?
Based on a survey and focus groups we conducted with wellness program vendors, the cost of a wellness program is $100-$150 per participating employee. To assist an employer with jump-starting a wellness program, we offer the most money up front and then taper funds as times goes on. We created this funding scheme to reflect the ROI employers realize in the long run.
Why does BWC require an annual reporting process?
We ask questions that any employer participating in an effective wellness program should be able to answer. We're interested in measuring the outcomes of employers' wellness programs. So, we require specific data elements. This way, we can observe both the ROI for it and its customers, and whether workplace wellness programs impact the health of the workforce.
Can employers use health-risk appraisals (HRAs) and biometric screenings conducted prior to applying for the grant program?
Yes. However, these tools can only date back three months prior to approval of the grant. Anything older than three months would skew our data analysis regarding the effectiveness of the program.
Can employers contract with multiple vendors?
Yes. We understand some vendors may only provide limited services such as only administering a health-risk appraisal and biometric screenings, or only program planning and execution. As long as the employer appropriately collects and reports the data we request, the employer may contract with multiple vendors.
How does an employer select a vendor?
BWC has provided vendor selection guidelines on our Workplace wellness grant overview page. Third-party administrators (TPAs) are another resource. They may already be knowledgeable about existing vendors that best fit your company's needs.
Once you start actively seeking a potential vendor, bring a copy of the application, particularly the data collection section, with you to meetings. Then, you'll put the vendor on notice as to our expectations for the program.
Must all participating employees be full-time employees?
No. Both part-time and full-time employees may participate in the program.
Note: Temporary workers (including student interns) and independent contractors are not eligible to participate.
How long will it take to receive the grant funds?
Up to three weeks from the time BWC receives the HRAs and biometrics.
How does workplace wellness impact absenteeism?
Studies show that workers who participate in wellness programs have reduced sick days. The health-care costs associated with those sick days were reduced as well. A few studies also have shown that reduced sick days translate to lower workers' compensation costs by as much as 30 percent.
Can employees who did not participate the previous year participate the upcoming year?
Yes. However, the employee must wait until the next year's cycle begins. An employee may not join the program mid-year.