Categories: Local

Salt Lake City starts new health plan to keep employees healthy and save taxpayers money

Salt Lake City Education Program Manager Stephanie Yau questioned the need for a colonoscopy but went in for her annual preventive screening anyway. The colonoscopy revealed cancer, but the early detection resulted in a successful outcome.

“We caught it early enough, we were able to deal with it and get rid of it, so that was a really good thing,” said Yau. “My philosophy is that prevention is always better than a remedy.”

This week, Mayor Jackie Biskupski announced the start of the new SLC360 wellness program that offers even more incentives for employees and their spouses to use preventative health care.

“This program will keep our employees healthier,” said Mayor Biskupski. “It will also save taxpayers from the catastrophic costs resulting from chronic diseases. Plus, employees will be more productive and have fewer sick days.”

Employees and their spouses can earn up to $150 each during the plan year by participating in the new program. Incentives are given for completing various health challenges throughout the year such as biometric assessments, health risk assessments, preventative screenings, educational courses, stress reduction, work-life balance, financial education and much more.

In 2011 the City moved to a High Deductible Healthcare Plan and a Health Savings Account. The city paid $28.6 million for healthcare in 2008 and was projected to pay more than $40 million in 2017 had the HDHP not been implemented. Instead, the total healthcare spending for the City in 2017 was $24.8 million — a 13 percent decrease at the same time health costs were going up. The new program expects to save even more.

“This directly impacts the employee’s pocketbook and can save them money down the road in healthcare premiums,” said Carolyn Campbell, city benefits manager.

Participants can use the WellRight app or another fitness app to keep track of their activities to help earn incentives. Employees can go to slc360.wellright.com to get started.

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Staff

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