DEFINITION of 'Wellness Program '

An employer approach to improving employees' health. Wellness programs include activities such as company-sponsored exercise, weight-loss competitions, educational seminars, tobacco-cessation programs and health screenings that are designed to help employees eat better, lose weight and improve their overall physical health. Wellness programs often involve financial incentives for employees, such as lower health-insurance premiums or gift cards.

BREAKING DOWN 'Wellness Program '

In addition to improving employee productivity and decreasing sick days and leaves of absence, all of which reduce operating costs, a company may be able to lower its health insurance benefit expenses by offering a wellness program. Employees can also benefit from wellness programs through lower health insurance premiums, decreased out-of-pocket medical expenditures and an increased sense of well-being.

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