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Iowa Telecommunications Association. Health Reform Update. [ ]. WELLNESS IN THE WORKPLACE How can it save you?. Lindsay Guenther, HR Generalist. Back to Health Class. Question: Even when resting, what muscles work twice as hard as the leg muscles of a person sprinting?

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iowa telecommunications association

Iowa Telecommunications Association

Health Reform Update

[ ]

wellness in the workplace how can it save you

Lindsay Guenther, HR Generalist

back to health class
Back to Health Class


Even when resting, what muscles work twice as hard as the leg muscles of a person sprinting?


The human heart.

back to health class1
Back to Health Class


Approximately how many gallons of blood is pumped through your body by your heart each day?


2,000 gallons

back to health class2
Back to Health Class


During the average lifetime, how many times will the human heart beat?


2.5 billion times

and the cold reality
..And the cold reality


What percentage of deaths in the U.S. are from heart disease?


25% (1 in every 4 deaths)

the cost of poor health
The Cost of Poor Health
  • In 2010, the cost of cardiovascular disease in the U.S. was about $444 billion.
    • Heart conditions
    • Stroke
    • Peripheral artery disease
    • High blood pressure
  • $1 of every $6 spent on healthcare was spent on the above conditions
the cost of poor health to your business
The Cost of Poor Health (to your business)
  • Increased number of sick days/employee absenteeism
  • Turnover
  • Presenteeism
  • Increased healthcare costs
the rise of costs
The Rise of Costs





Overall inflation was 2%.

the rise of costs1
The Rise of Costs

Six causes of increased healthcare costs

  • Hospital Visits
  • Doctor Visits
  • New Medical Technologies
  • Lab Tests
  • Drugs
  • Health Plan Administrators
back to class
Back to Class


What is our controllable action in lowering the costs of healthcare?


Education about being a smarter health consumer and wellness programs.

who even participates
Who Even Participates?

In a 2011 study conducted by Principal Financial Group, thousands of employees of companies who offered wellness programs said…


Wellness programs give them more energy and productivity.


Wellness programs encourages them to work harder and better.


Wellness programs would drive retention.

creating a wellness program
Creating a Wellness Program
  • Organizational Culture and Leadership
    • Develop a “Human Centered Culture”
    • Demonstrate leadership
    • Encourage mid-level management
creating a wellness program1
Creating a Wellness Program
  • Program Design
    • Establish clear principles
    • Integrate relevant systems
    • Eliminate recognized occupational hazards
    • Be consistent
    • Promote employee participation
creating a wellness program2
Creating a Wellness Program
  • Program Design (continued)
    • Tailor programs to the specific workplace
    • Consider incentives and rewards
    • Find and use the right tools
    • Adjust the program as needed
    • Make sure the program lasts
    • Ensure confidentiality
creating a wellness program3
Creating a Wellness Program
  • Program Implementation and Resources
    • Be willing to start small and scale up
    • Provide adequate resources
    • Communicate strategically
    • Build accountability
creating a wellness program4
Creating a Wellness Program
  • Program Evaluation
    • Measure and analyze
    • Learn from experience
one last question
One Last Question


Although we can’t fully stop the rise of healthcare costs in the U.S., who can help create awareness around better lifestyles and healthy choices related to their employees?



  • Iowa Public Television
  • Cleveland Clinic
  • Center for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Kaiser Family Foundation
  • WebMD
  • CNN Money
  • Principal Financial Group
  • National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health

Lindsay Guenther, HR Generalist

Kiesling Associates LLP


West Des Moines, IA

Thank you!

upcoming changes
Upcoming Changes
  • Individual mandates
  • Employer play or pay – Employer mandates (2015)
  • Large employer auto enroll requirement
  • Insurance exchanges for individuals and small businesses
  • Guaranteed issue, renewability and rating variation requirements
  • Annual limits
  • Limit on waiting periods
  • Wellness incentives
  • Preexisting condition exclusions
  • Comprehensive health insurance coverage
  • Limits on cost sharing and deductibles
major changes
Major Changes

Insurance Exchanges

  • Under the law, states will create insurance exchanges that will be operational by 2014
  • Open to both eligible individuals and some employers
    • Before 2017, open to employers with 50 or fewer employees only
    • Starting 2017, each state will be allowed to open up the exchange to larger employers
  • The Shared Responsibility Provision
    • Effective January 1, 2014
    • Certain exemptions, some of which need to be certified
      • You are not required to file a tax return
      • Coverage is more than 8% of household income
    • Penalties apply if exceptions do not apply
premium tax credit
Premium Tax Credit
  • Insurance is through the exchange
  • Are not eligible through employer plan
  • Are within certain income limits
  • If married you must file joint
  • Cannot be claimed as a dependent
income limits
Income Limits
  • Individuals – Up to $45,960
  • Family of two – Up to $62,040
  • Family of four – Up to $94,200
business health insurance credit
Business Health Insurance Credit
  • Available 2014 if participating in exchange
  • Phase-outs
    • 10 to 25 full time equivalents
    • $25,000 to $50,000 in wages
  • 50% of employer’s non-elective contributions
  • Credit is netted against deduction
health insurance credit
Health Insurance Credit
  • Exclusions
    • Self-employed
    • 2% shareholders in an S-Corp
    • 5% shareholders of C-Corp
health insurance exchange credit
Health Insurance Exchange Credit
  • Available in 2014
  • Credit equal to 50% of costs purchased through state exchange
  • Available for only 2 consecutive years
  • Additional exchange information available in October 2013
employer responsibilities
Employer Responsibilities

Employers with more than 50 Ees to pay 2k per employee if no health insurance coverage is offered and 1 EE is receiving premium assistance

  • First 30 employees are excluded from calculation of penalty
  • Full time employees only are used in calculation
minimum essential coverage
Minimum Essential Coverage
  • The employee’s share must not exceed 9.5% of household income
  • The employer’s share must be at least 60% of the actuarial value of the total plan
full time equivalent fte
Full Time Equivalent (FTE)
  • Employed on average 30 hours in a week
  • Employed 130 hours in a month
  • Part time hours are divided by 120 per month
  • Seasonal workers excluded if 4 months or less
counting employees
Counting Employees
  • Full time employees for each month +
  • FTE for each month =
  • Divide by 12
wellness program
Wellness Program
  • Limited to 30% of employee coverage and 50% for smoking.
  • May increase premium or provide credit
  • Can be a
    • Participatory Wellness Program
    • Contingent Health Program
participatory wellness program
Participatory Wellness Program
  • Providing incentives for
    • Health club memberships
    • Smoking cessation classes
    • Preventive care
contingent health program
Contingent Health Program
  • Increasing employee rates for
    • Smoking
    • Body Mass Index
    • Blood Pressure
    • Cholesterol Levels
w 2 reporting of health costs
W-2 Reporting of Health Costs
  • If <250 W2 filed in prior year exemption for 2012 forms and 2013 until further guidance issued
  • Reporting done in box 12, code DD
  • Reporting is for information purposes only
w 2 reporting of health costs1
W-2 Reporting of Health Costs
  • Exemptions
    • Long term care insurance
    • Worker compensation
    • Supplemental liability
  • Kaiser Family Foundation –

Todd Thorson, Partner

Kiesling Associates LLP


West Des Moines, IA

Thank you!