At MassMutual, we are committed to helping people secure their future and protect the ones they love, and this extends to the health and wellness of our employees. We strive to provide our employees with the clear knowledge and range of resources to lead healthy lifestyles so they can have the peace of mind and productivity that come from good health.
As part of these efforts, we have implemented progressive strategies for fostering wellness and managing health care costs that have empowered employees to become active participants in their own care while helping MassMutual curb health care cost increases that affect employers nationwide.
Innovative features in our integrated health and wellness plan — such as graduated premiums based on salary and incentives that enable employees to earn up to $1,000 — have helped keep health care affordable. In 2011, MassMutual transitioned all employees from HMO and PPO options to two high-deductible health plan options.
The changes were announced nearly a year in advance to give employees time to attend comprehensive training sessions and compare the impacts of various health care scenarios on the cost of care. Health savings accounts (HSAs) were seeded with up to $1,000 in transition dollars the first two years.
Much as they do when managing their overall finances, employees want to know what they’re paying for. The shift to this new plan also encouraged a change in behavior — prompting our employees to take a more active role in managing their care by understanding the services they receive and shopping for options that provide the same level of service at a lower cost.
Our success with this return has been demonstrated by our metrics. In 2011, approximately 80 percent of employees spent less under the new plan, and MassMutual realized a claims savings of 6 percent per employee. We shared half of this savings with employees as a one-time health care dividend into their HSAs.
MassMutual employees have also exceeded national benchmarks for use of preventive services — 71 percent (versus 48 percent nationally) — and have far lower emergency room visits and inpatient admissions. We continue to expand our focus on health and wellness through half-priced healthy foods in the cafeterias, subsidized weight-reduction support programs and the opportunity for employees to earn up to $1,000 per year in their HSAs for healthy behaviors.
At MassMutual, we believe good health is good business. Healthy employees are happier, better engaged and more productive, and that helps our company — and our people — grow stronger together.