The Financial Impact of Poor Health on Employees
There is an ever increasing risk to the health of U.S. workers. The average age of the American workforce is on the rise, and coupled with epidemic levels of diabetes, obesity heart disease and depressions poses a high burden on workers.
Employee wellness should be on the agenda of all good companies. By smartly investing in wellness programs, companies can improve employee health and save a lot of money at the same time.
We have taken some of the key statistics from reports published by the Integrated Benefits Institute (IBI), Duke University Medical Center and the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, to give you the major facts behind this issue.
Cost of Poor Health
Every year $576 billion are spent because of employee health related issues. These costs can be broken down into three main categories:
• Medical and Pharmacy costs – $232 billion
• Lost Productivity & Opportunities – $227 billion
• Wage Replacement – $117 billion
There are a number of direct costs in the form of treatments required to treating poor health.
• Outpatient care
• Inpatient care
Even after treating employees with poor health, there are other costs that have to be taken into account.
• Short-term disability
• Long-term disability
• Worker’s compensation
• Time lost from being late for work
• More work absents
The Cost per Employee
On average, dealing with health issues will cost $1,685 per employee for one year. This takes into account loss of productivity due to personal and family health matters. An obese employee will on average incur as much as seven times the medical expenses. A sedentary employee will be three hours less productive every week.
The above statistics gives an overall idea of the scale of the problem. Companies have to take a long-term view to maintaining employee health, or it will turn into a very costly issue.