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Mental Health, Financial Wellness Biggest Drivers Of Wellness Programs In 2019

2019 Employee Wellness Industry Trends Report - Investment Trends

The 2019 Employee Wellness Industry Trends Report from Wellable quantifies wellness strategies that companies will be implementing in 2019

BOSTON, MA, UNITED STATES, January 7, 2019 / -- Key Findings:

• Financial wellness, mental health, and stress management continue to be popular, with 68%, 58%, and 55% of employers expecting to invest more in these types of programs in the coming year, respectively.

• Biometric screenings and health risk assessments are losing their popularity, with 29% and 27% of employers expecting to invest less in these solutions in 2019, respectively.

• Harder-to-scale offerings, such as health coaching and fitness classes, are expected to be favored less than streamlined solutions that can scale easily across employee bases, like educational resources (seminars, webinars, etc.) and other digital tools.

Finding and retaining qualified employees continues to be challenging in an increasingly tight labor market. As a result, companies are expanding benefits, including wellness programs, to help employees thrive and want to show up for work every day. Through a survey of health insurance brokers, Wellable’s 2019 Employee Wellness Industry Trends Report quantifies and benchmarks this effort, providing a guide to help employers create healthy, happy, and productive workforces.

Growth In Employee Wellness

Overall, employers are increasing their investment in health and well-being programs, with more than twice as many employers planning to invest more (35%) compared to those who plan to invest less (14%). However, the increase in investment is not equally distributed across wellness solutions. Easy-to-scale solutions, such as educational resources and digital tools, comprise a greater share of new investments while harder-to-scale offerings, like coaching and fitness classes, are falling behind. Despite the overall growth in wellness benefits, employers are expected to invest less in certain solutions, such as biometric screenings, health risk assessments, and on-site/near-site clinics.

Large employers (>1,000 employees) are leading the pack when it comes to investing in solutions that require significant capital outlays or in emerging technologies, such as disease management, financial wellness, and sleep management. For example, 55% of large companies will be investing more in disease management, compared to 39% of medium (250-1,000 employees) and 22% of small (<250 employees) companies.

Expansion Of Holistic Wellness

Gone are the days of wellness programs focusing exclusively on physical health. Employers continue to invest more in holistic wellness, such as financial wellness (68%), stress management (58%), and mental health (55%). Fitness and physical wellness are increasingly being delivered digitally, with 42% of employers looking to invest more in wellness challenges while only 16% are investing more in on-site fitness classes.

Despite having been staples of wellness programs for decades, biometric screenings and health risk assessments are losing favor as their efficacy continues to be called into question and the current regulatory environment increases the risks of making these programs mandatory. Twenty-nine percent of employers plan to invest less in biometric screenings in 2019, a 10 percentage point increase from last year.

Price Sensitivity

Pricing remains the top criterion when evaluating wellness vendors for small and medium companies. This is likely because rising costs are the main factor influencing benefits decisions. Flexibility and customizability is the top criterion for large employers. Presumably, these organizations have more substantial budgets and are willing to pay more for flexibility.

About Wellable

Wellable operates next-generation wellness challenges and health content technology platforms and complements these solutions with on-site and virtual services, such as fitness classes, seminars, health coaching, and more. The technology's flexibility allows organizations to customize and configure a program to meet their needs and objectives while providing a rich experience for end users. Wellable works with employers and health plans of all sizes and has active users in more than 23 different countries. Visit Wellable online at

Chloe Dinh
Wellable Inc.
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