SIDNEY — A new wellness program, sponsored by the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC), for employees of small businesses was introduced Wednesday to business owners at Amos Memorial Public Library.
The “Better You, Better Ohio” program is designed to provide health and wellness resources and services.
According to an Ohio BWC press release, the program is the “health and safety component to BWC’s ‘Third Billion Back’ initiative, the $1 billion premium rebate the agency issued last year to Ohio employers.”
Troy Boughan, regional business consultant for Ohio BWC, said the free program targets Ohioans who are at greater risk for on-the-job injuries. In 2017, Ohio ranked 39 out of 50 for facing major health challenges driven primarily by obesity, aging and chronic diesese, that is mostly associated with lifestyle behaviors, he said.
“The backbone of a successful business is its workers, and the backbone of Ohio is its workforce. At BWC, we take our mission to take care of Ohio’s workforce seriously,” Boughan said.
Employees of businesses with 50 employees or less, that does not already have a wellness program, and work in predetermined high risk industries are eligible to participate. Also, injured workers, who work for companies without existing wellness programs, are eligible to participate by invitation.
“Employers greatly benefit by having a healthy workforce, as they are less prone to injury,” Boughan said to the small group of business owners.
Obese workers file twice as many claims and miss 13 more days per year, on average, than non-obese workers, he said. Businesses pay about $2,189 in Ohio BWC’s costs for smokers compared, to $176 for non-smokers, Boughan said, and workers with comorbidities have a higher risk of injury with more time off of work.
Partnering with ActiveHealth Management to power the program, enrollees will have access to health awareness, education and training through a health screening and assessment, a website and app to develop a plan and track their goals, as well as digital coaching and a 24 hour nurse line.
Other than health benefits, monetary incentives up to $125 are available for participants. Boughan said those who complete the health risk assessment and biometric screening, will receive a $75 gift card, and participants who complete all three one-on-one coaching sessions will receive a $50 gift card.
There is no administrative requirements for employers. The program has benefits for employers to encourage enrollment, Boughan said, but employees must take the initiative to sign up. He said the process is simple and requires no paperwork.
“Enrollment is a simple, paperless process, and there is no charge to employers or employees,” Sarah Morrison, administrator and CEO of the Ohio BWC said in the release. “All we’re asking of employers is to help spread the word. We know a healthy workforce contributes to a healthy business, so if we can create that environment across this state, Ohio will be better for it.”
Workers will be able to enroll starting on Thursday, Feb.1. For more information visit https://www.bwc.ohio.gov/employer/services/SandH/BtrYouBtrOhioOverview.asp
Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.