Jon Robison recently published an article showing the futility of using wellness programs to save money. Futility is an understatement — here is the absolute, take-it-to-the-bank proof on how much money wellness loses, and why my $3 million reward money is safe. The key display is right here:
The two lines at the bottom are the US population potentially exposed to wellness (insured by employer) and the entire non-exposed <65 population (Medicaid + uninsured + self-pay). As wellness became increasingly common, one would expect the lines to separate. And they did…by about 0.2%, or roughly 700 heart attacks in the entire US population. (This of course assumes that none of the separation is due to the social determinants of health — one would expect people who enjoy employer-paid insurance to be better off than those who are on their own, or have Medicaid.)
Ironically, Medicare — where by definition nobody has access to workplace wellness — did the best of all.