America առողջ Health էին The health challenges were clear before the coronavirus hit. Now the epidemic has left them open, revealing open inconsistencies, showing how many of us are more vulnerable to disease, disability, and our less-than-ideal lifestyles.

For employers, this is a terrible reminder of how much the health of your employees affects your business. Employee health plans were popular before Covid, offered by 53% of small employers 81 81% of large ones և, and after Covid it is likely that even more companies will consider adding to their offerings.

This may seem logical, but according to a new study, it could be a massive waste of money. The researchers accidentally instructed BJ’s Wholesale Club employees to either participate in the company’s health plan or not, and then sent them back for three years. The authors of the study, Catherine Biker of the University of Chicago, երգ Harvard’s song’s song, found that health programs are very worthless. Washington Post: op-ed.

No health benefits, no cost savings

First, what did the study find out? While those who planned to participate showed modest increases in self-reported healthy behaviors, for example, the number of employees who said they were exercising improved by 11 percent, for example, when researchers measured severe և rapid results in obesity և blood pressure, they did not see any difference between registered and unregistered.

And what about health care costs? After all, one of the biggest motivations for employers to implement these programs is to save money on employee health insurance. Here again, health plans were disappointing. The researchers found no difference in cost between the two groups. They found no evidence that work performance had increased for those involved in the health plan.

What is going on here?

Finding zero benefits for these programs is amazing. In general, companies do not like to throw money at idle programs, և many previous studies have shown that these efforts pay off for employees. So why did this particular study offer so many different, disappointing results?

The explanation is probably in the study design. Most previous studies compared employees who preferred to participate in employee health with those who did not. But, as the authors explain, the two groups differ much more than just the status of the registration. People who say yes to gym discounts and nutritionists’ lectures are already more inclined to take care of their health. So it may come as no surprise that they are healthier after participation. They were probably healthier than their initially uninteresting counterparts.

This study avoids this problem by randomly assigning employees to participate or not to participate. In this way, the researchers made sure that the two groups were effectively identical. And when they did, almost all of the benefits of these programs disappeared.

Need to delete your company health plan?

This, of course, is just one study. But it’s incredibly tough; some other studies have also found almost no health benefits or cost savings from employee health plans. Which should probably make entrepreneurs think long and hard about the value of these initiatives.

But that is not to say that they are all worthless. There are a number of different programs out there, so there are some that outperform their peers. Or you may have different goals for your company’s health plan. “Employees seemed to appreciate the benefits,” the study authors wrote. “If employers seek to increase the benefits that employees value (or engage employees who value those benefits), programs can be worth it.”

So, if your health plan is a carrot to realize health in the hard labor market, go ahead. If you really expect your gym: vegetable team members to suddenly change their ways, saving you money, they might give you permission for health programs instead.

The views expressed by Inc.com columnists here are theirs, not those of Inc.com.