How Wellness Plans Will Fare Under the Trump Administration

Lena J. Weiner, March 20, 2017

What does the future of workplace wellness programs look like under the GOP's plan to replace the ACA? Look for consumer-driven growth, says one expert.

Mary Coleman
Mary Coleman

Borne of the Affordable Care Act, wellness programs are favored by employers as a mechanism to keep healthcare costs down and employee engagement up.

They are extremely popular with employers, if not with employees:

But what does the future of workplace wellness programs look like under the American Health Care Act, the GOP's plan to replace the ACA?

Mary Coleman has some thoughts about the future of wellness plans. She is manager of government affairs and consumer engagement at Centura Health, a non-profit health system based in Colorado. It employees more than 17,000 workers.

The transcript below of Coleman's recent conversation with HealthLeaders has been lightly edited.

HealthLeaders: Why did employer-sponsored wellness proliferate during the Obama administration?

Mary Coleman: I've given this a lot of thought. We always try to decide if the growth of these programs is politically motivated, or if there is some other reason. I do think they grew under the Obama administration, in large part due to the Affordable Care Act.

There was a push from employers, insurance carriers, health systems, patients, and providers to really get innovative and bring down the cost of care and increase quality of care.

When all of the interested parties started putting our heads together around the employee wellness piece, we began asking how we could best help our employees by getting people more engaged, better educated, and more empowered about healthcare decisions.

When the ACA came about, people were overwhelmed with information about healthcare, but not sure what to do with it.

HealthLeaders: Do you believe that employer-sponsored wellness programs will continue to grow during the Trump administration?

Lena J. Weiner

Lena J. Weiner is an associate editor at HealthLeaders Media.

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