Objective: Consumer-directed health plans (CDHPs) are popular among employers in the United States. This study examined an employee wellness program and its association with employee health in an organization that recently initiated a CDHP.
Methods: This retrospective observational analysis compared the health risks, employer-paid health care costs, and short-term disability absences of employees of a large financial services corporation from 2009 to 2010.
Results: The two-time health risk appraisal participants had a significant improvement in the percentage of employees in the overall low-risk category. The average annual employer-paid medical and pharmacy costs did not significantly change. For employees who improved their health risk category, there was a commensurate change in costs and absences.
Conclusions: In a difficult economic climate, this organization began a health promotion program for employees as well as a new CDHP benefit structure. No short-term reduction in health care usage or overall health status was observed.