Finding Ways to Address Everyone’s Wellbeing NeedsSeptember 07, 2023
Most times when we hear health and wellbeing we attribute it to our physical state, but wellbeing is more than just getting a step count in for the day.
Wellbeing is the state of being comfortable, healthy and happy.
This can come in many different forms and doesn’t look the same for all. Your employees have daily experiences that change the way their wellbeing is impacted so it’s important to reflect on meeting each individual where they are in their unique wellbeing journey.
Different Types of Wellbeing:
- Physical Wellbeing – The ability to carry out daily tasks without discomfort and improve the functioning of your body through healthy living and good exercise habits.
- Emotional Wellbeing – The ability to handle emotions, adapt to difficult times, and create emotions that lead to better feelings.
- Mental Wellbeing – The ability to think clearly, make good decisions and cope with life stresses.
- Financial Wellbeing – The ability to become financially literate and be in control of your money and resources.
Where Wellbeing Meets Health Equity
Health is largely determined by our circumstances and environment – is there access to green spaces or healthy food nearby? A stable home life? Some other key influences can include income, accessibility to care, educational attachment and relationships. These external factors are known as Social Determinants of Health (SDOH).
Populations who experience higher rates of SDOH challenges can also see increased rates of mental health disorders. While these marginalized groups bear a high burden of disability, barriers to care such as stigma, mental health workforce shortage, and geographical maldistribution of providers, keep individuals from receiving the mental health care often needed. The National Institutes of Health reported that racial-ethnic minority groups are 20%–50% less likely to initiate mental health service use and 40%–80% more likely to drop out of treatment prematurely. There is also growing evidence to show that the mental health services available to LGBTQ+ individuals are often scarce or inadequate in the specialized care needed. Due to these gaps, it’s important to change the narrative around mental health and reflect on what tools and resources you are providing your team to get the support they need.
Similarly, how is your current wellbeing strategy addressing those with physical disabilities? Many traditional wellbeing programs focus on the physical ability of the individual either getting a step count in or getting to the gym. The CDC reports, though, that more than 1 in 4 US adults 18-64 years of age has a disability. These disabilities can include difficulty walking or climbing stairs, hearing, concentrating, remembering or decision making. This leads a whole group of people to be unengaged in their health and wellbeing.
These examples help illustrate the importance of having an inclusive wellbeing strategy for your team that creates fair opportunities for all members to live a healthy life. Health equity can only be achieved when all employees are able to live their healthiest lives.
Supporting Wellbeing for All
We are proud to introduce a new 2024 benefit called ThriveWell℠, powered by Virgin Pulse*. This digital home base is dedicated to engaging your team in health and wellbeing.
Every business wants to help their employees live their best lives. At Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, we’re providing the tools and resources to help make it easier. ThriveWell is now another tool we’re supplying members with to help them engage in healthier choices and get rewarded for them!
Within the platform employees will have access to:
- A variety of wellbeing content for everyone
- Specific actions to address Social Determinants of Health
- Coaching that supports everyone in your community
- Channels that reach and engage
- Assistance and guides to navigating the complex health care system
- Science that changes behaviors
We will also be offering ThriveWell Rewards** that goes beyond just rewarding physical health. Employees will have the opportunity to earn points by doing healthy things like:
- Tracking sleep nightly
- Tracking Healthy Habits 20 days in a month
- Setting a wellbeing goal
- Completing a Journey
- And so much more!
It’s a powerful approach to ensuring a healthier, happier workforce – and a healthier bottom line for your business. And when you can do that, everybody benefits.
Help Employees Take Control of their Health and Wellbeing
To learn more about how ThriveWell can support a more complete approach to wellbeing for all your employees, talk to your broker or Excellus BCBS account manager today. You can also download our large group employer brochure or our small group employer brochure to learn more about the program offerings.
* ThriveWell is embedded for all Fully Insured group plans with the exception of Minimum Premium arrangements. Buy-up option available for Minimum Premium and Self-Funded group plans. Subject to DFS approval.
**ThriveWell Rewards are embedded for all Small Group plans and buy-up for all Large Group plans.
Virgin Pulse is a separate company and offers a digital wellbeing service on behalf of Excellus BlueCross BlueShield