90% of U.S. Corporations Now Offer Wellness Programs

Companies use free wellness incentives to boost participation and cut health-care costs

TREVOSE, PA – November 16, 2011 – The Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI) today reported more and more companies are discovering giveaways boost employee participation in wellness programs and can ultimately lead to cuts in overall health-care costs.

Incentives are key to encouraging employee participation in wellness programs. A recent Incentive Research Foundation report shows only one in five people will participate in wellness programs if there are no incentives, while offering incentives increases participation by a minimum of 60%. “Incentives also have a long-term impact,” said foundation president Melissa Van Dyke.

Popular promotional products used in incentive programs range from logoed body mass index calculators and jars filled with almonds instead of candy to wristbands, pedometers and backpacks, many carrying printed cards with health tips.

According to a 2010 government report, up to 75% of the $2.5 trillion spent every year on U.S. health care is used for treating preventable conditions. And now, health-care reform is helping smaller companies launch wellness programs through grant money, tax credits, educational surveys and online portals.

“It’s clear from ASI’s research that companies can attain a significant ROI through wellness programs – but while 90% of U.S. corporations provide employee wellness programs, only 44% offer promotional products as incentives for participation,” said Timothy M. Andrews, president and chief executive officer of ASI. “There’s clearly room for growth in this market. It’s good for business, and it’s great for reducing skyrocketing health-care costs.”

To read a special report on wellness programs in ASI’s Counselor magazine, click here.

With the passage of national health-care reform in 2010, businesses gained a greater incentive to offer employee wellness programs. By 2014, companies will be able to offer rewards of up to 30% of the total cost of an employee’s insurance coverage.

About ASI
ASI is the largest education, media and marketing organization for the $17 billion promotional products industry. Promotional products (aka giveaways, ad specialties, freebies) are items like pens, T-shirts, caps, coffee mugs and high-tech electronics imprinted with a logo or slogan. According to ASI research, promo products beat out prime-time TV, radio and print advertising as the most cost-effective advertising medium available. Visit ASI at www.asicentral.com and on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and the CEO’s blog.