Archive for the ‘Health & Wellness’ Category

Invest in Employee Health with a Little Competition

Friday, February 7th, 2014

Everyone is buzzing about employee health and wellness initiatives. With the newly applied Affordable Care Act, rules and employees trying to stick to their New Year’s Resolutions, losing weight is on everyone’s mind. And who doesn’t like a little friendly competition among colleagues?

Rather than have a basic carrot based health and wellness rewards program in place set up a weight loss competition among colleagues. Form teams, have the teams set goals, while keeping weight numbers private and reward winners at a regular interval, whether it is a weekly winner, monthly winner or one-time overall competition winner. Make sure to offer a variety of rewards. A weekly winner might win a small denomination gift card to a health retailer like CVS/Pharmacy, GNC or Whole Foods Market, while the overall winner might win a weekend getaway or an extra day off. Competition will only drive employees to be healthier and drive down premiums for both employees and your organization.

Wellness Programs Lead to Healthier Employees, Lower Costs

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

The Affordable Care Act is here, and even though most open enrollment periods are now over for the year, there is still time to improve your employee health and lower future health care costs. Implementing health and wellness programs can both lower health care costs for employers, and place accountability on employees for their own health. Chad Koerten, who works for KI Furniture near Green Bay, WI has credited his organization with an 80 lb. weight loss over his 15 years with the company.

It is stories like Chad’s who prove that wellness program work. If healthier employees and lower costs for both employers and employees isn’t enough, using small rewards or incentives to engage employees in programs can be highly effective. Incentives like small denomination gift cards to popular retailers like Whole Foods MarketCVS/Pharmacy and GNC for entry into a wellness program or reaching a wellness goal can be highly effective.

For more information on how employee wellness programs can lower costs and raise the health of your employees check out this article from the Green Bay Press Gazette. 


Employer Wellness Program: Disease Management vs. Lifestyle Programs

Monday, January 27th, 2014

As wellness programs in the workplace continue to be a popular choice for employers looking to decrease medical costs and increase employee productivity, so do the many moving parts within the program itself. Now that the question of whether or not to have a wellness program has been answered with an overwhelming YES, the focus turns to what exactly the program entails.

Are you trying to encourage employees to eat healthier, get active, or manage stress levels? These entities would fall under lifestyle programs and are being shown to be a more long-term way to save a company money.

For a more “quick cost cuts” option companies are turning to programs that center around disease management. This would involve programs like disease education and encouraging or reminding employers to take medications.

So which should you focus on? Well it’s important that your wellness program is tailored to fit your workforce, offering options to fit individual needs and wants. That, along with the right incentives like gift cards, vacation days or a little in-office competition, is the only surefire way to foster a successful employer wellness program.

This article from The New York Times, Study Raises Questions for Employer Wellness Programs, goes into detail on how savings vary by the types of programs you offer.

Whole Foods, Sticking to Its Roots

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

It is great in today’s business environment to see a large national brand sticking to its roots, what made it successful. Whole Foods is doing just that with its Local Producer Loan Program. This unique loan program helps Whole Foods help small scale independent food producers grow their business and scale to sell the type of food Whole Foods needs to purchase for its consumers. These independent food producers get to grow, create more jobs and have a category leading retail partner, while Whole Foods gets to give back and help bring healthy, wholesome, natural food to the masses.

Sticking to its roots is just one example of why Whole Foods gift cards can be a great addition to an employee health and wellness incentive program. Whole Foods sets a positive business example. They make good on their promises, they serve their population to the absolute best of their abilities and promoting their brand to your employees sets a precedent for your own business. Giving employees positive examples like Whole Foods can drive them to create a similar environment of integrity, teamwork and giving back in their own workplace. Doesn’t January seem like a great time to start? Everyone is dieting anyway!

For more information on Whole Foods’ Local Producer Loan Program check out this article from

Welcome 2014! Welcome Healthy Employees?

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

We all wish for a Happy and Healthy New Year.  But, is your workplace doing all it can to promote and improve employee health and wellness?

Register to view our on-demand webcast and learn what you need to know about complying with the latest Healthcare Reform laws and regulations for 2014, when implementing incentives to your corporate health and wellness program.

Gift Card Partners, in conjunction with CVS/pharmacy and the Employer Healthcare Congress present: Wellness in the Corporate Environment and Complying with PPACA; How to Build a Successful Gift Card Incentive Program

How do you plan to improve your workplace health and wellness in 2014?

Employee Wellness Pays for Itself

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

Employee wellness programs are a growing trend with new Affordable Care Act rules going into effect. But according to a new 2013 Aflac WorkForces Report employee wellness programs are not just a fad. Employees enrolled in wellness programs are more knowledgable about their benefits, express confidence in their employer, are more satisfied with their job and benefits, and are healthier. The report includes some staggering charts including the one below. The report sends one simple message loud and clear: employee wellness programs work when employees are properly engaged and incentivized. If you want to read more about employee wellness benefits or the Aflac report, check out this article from Small Business Trends.


Last 2 Days to Register: WEBINAR – Complying with PPACA & Building a Successful Incentive Program

Monday, November 18th, 2013

Join Gift Card Partners and CVS/pharmacy on Tuesday November 19th, at 2:00 PM EST, as we host a live webinar in conjunction with the Employer Healthcare & Benefits Congress titled: Wellness in the Corporate Environment and Complying with PPACA; How to Build a Successful Gift Card Incentive Program. Presenting will be Ralph Lardieri, wellness manager, Wawa, Inc., Judith Wethall, shareholder, Littler, Finn Pressly, Associate, Mendelson and moderating the Q&A session will be Edward Shulkin, president, GiftCard Partners. How do you plan to improve your workplace wellness program in 2014?

About the webinar
Tuesday November 19th, at 2:00 PM EST: Wellness programs are an effective method to maintain group health plan costs and motivate employees to take control of their health, while assisting employees to lead happier, healthier and more productive lives. Employers seek solutions by offering incentives that are tangible, easily accessible and tailored to the employees work/life balance for voluntary participation.

Prior to the passage of the Affordable Care Act, navigating the legal landscape of wellness programs and incentives could be treacherous. However, the Affordable Care Act seemed to be a clear endorsement of standards-based wellness programs by the government. PPACA generated even more opportunities to get creative with these wellness programs, but it is important to understand the risks.

We will address:

  • Changing an employee’s poor health habits by providing powerful motivators
  • Creative strategies on how to implement a successful corporate wellness program utilizing gift card incentives
  • The permitted incentives for standards-based wellness programs, and the associated
  • requirements to ensure PPACA compliance
  • Other laws that might impact wellness programs, including the ADA and GINA
  • Rewards and consequences that employers may face using gift card incentives

Who Should Attend:

  • Agents
  • Brokers
  • Consultants
  • Human Resources Executives
  • TPA
  • MGUS
  • PBMS
  • Insurance companies
  • Health plans
  • Government agencies

The Relationship Between Health Culture & Employee Performance

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

√ Not careful at work.

√  Not working as often.

√  Not concentrating.

√ Less work is completed.

That list is the reality for many companies who have not connected a corporate culture of health with employee performance. A recent study by Integrated Benefits Institute (IBI), demonstrates a tie between an organization’s leadership commitment to employee health, a healthy workplace culture and better job performance. The study reveals a statistically significant relationship between health culture and several job performance metrics. “When employers understand that organizational factors influence not only the health of their workers, but also their performance and contribution to the company, they can take steps to improve the lives of their workers and their bottom lines at the same time,” states IBI President Thomas Parry, PhD.

Read on to discover more about employee health, company culture and employee performance from IBI.

Corporate Wellness, Foster a Culture of Health in the Workplace

Monday, October 14th, 2013

Whether you’ve just implemented a corporate wellness program or have had one in place for years, one thing to pay close attention to is the culture of health that it creates in your workplace. Without it, your program is like a boat on dry land…not really going anywhere.

Company culture is built from the top down. One great way to show management’s support in your corporate wellness program is by encouraging employees to make and keep “health-goals”, like losing weight, joining a smoking cessation program and quitting, joining a gym, etc.  Rewarding employees for these milestone achievements in their health is a great motivational tool and using healthy incentives brings the process full circle. Healthy incentives can be any number of things and don’t need to break the bank either. Small denomination gift cards to health-focused  stores like CVS/pharmacy or Whole Foods Market are a great way to reward. Get more healthy gift ideas on a budget from’s 50 Healthy Gifts Under $50.

Check out this article in Corporate Wellness Magazine to learn more about employee motivational tools and creating a culture of health.

New Government Rules Push Employee Wellness

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013


Today, the carrots and sticks of employee wellness turn into mainly just carrots, thanks to the new rules being applied to the Affordable Care Act. So what does this mean for employee wellness programs? The new rules are pushing employers to promote improvement in employee health, rather than penalizing unhealthy employees for being unhealthy. The limits to the percentage of health benefits that can be incentivized for qualifying healthy behavior are increasing from 20 to 30%.


This confirms the trend that carrots work better than sticks. When building your employee wellness program be sure to incorporate tiered rewards. For smaller benchmarks offering spot rewards like a gift card to Whole Foods Market, GNC or CVS/Pharmacy is a great way to encourage an employee who lost their first 5 lbs to continue their effort. For larger benchmarks, health care benefit cost incentives are more appropriate. Carrots are the way to go, and now the law supports helping your employees find health and wellness.

For more on the new components to the Affordable Care Act and how they affect your employee wellness program, check out this article from Washington Business Journal.