By AUTUMN HUGHES
Although additional review is planned, Bradley County officials are looking at options to allow county government employees to participate in a health and wellness initiative and purchase additional …
Although additional review is planned, Bradley County officials are looking at options to allow county government employees to participate in a health and wellness initiative and purchase additional insurance coverage.
The Bradley County Insurance Committee met Tuesday to hear about the Hope 80/20 wellness initiative and Healthy Transformations' offerings.
Hope 80/20 CEO Maurice Saliba told committee members about the 22-week Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Diabetes Program his company offers at a cost of $500 per person. He said it is a great opportunity to promote wellness for the county's employees.
"The CDC is sounding the alarm" about diabetes, he said.
Commissioner Dan Rawls, who is not a member of the Insurance Committee, attended the committee meeting and shared his opinion that he believes adopting the program will be a positive step for employees.
"We're always looking for ways to give the employees … a good opportunity and to increase the benefits package," Rawls said, adding he believes the program will allow employees "to move their lives in a healthier direction."
Saliba said health costs increase for pre-diabetic and diabetic patients, but said the program is not only for those with diabetes, but also for overall health concerns.
Brian Little, an agent and program consultant with Healthy Transformations, discussed its Compliant Corporate Wellness Program options with the committee.
"This program is a game-changer," Little said, noting it is a complete wellness program with two aspects:
• Health and Wellness Initiative – Hope 80/20:
Little said this aspect includes a personalized wellness coach and information regarding nutrition and social and behavioral issues.
• Healthy Transformations Plan Administrative Advantageous Tax Savings Program:
Little said employees use their tax savings for wellness and supplemental benefits, and the employee's net income is the same.
Little said participation in the program does not "threaten, change, affect, replace, cancel any program you already have."
"This only complements or enhances any group benefit savings you already have," he said.
Participants will receive an email or text each week and by replying, they check in with their wellness coach.
He also discussed the availability of Assurity Life Insurance Company's insurance products:
• Accident Expense
• Critical Illness
• Hospital Indemnity
• Whole Life
• Disability Income
All the insurance products are portable with generous guaranteed issue amounts that are available with no medical questions or underwriting, he said.
Saliba asked Little to estimate the tax savings for Bradley County's employees as a result of participating in the health and wellness initiatives. He said for 500 employees participating in Healthy Transformations' programs, county government could realize $300,000 to $350,000 in Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) savings.
After the presentation, Committee Chairman Mark Hall asked for a recommendation from the committee.
Commissioner Charlotte Peak said she wants to hear more and Commissioner Howard Thompson requested to meet in work session for further discussion.
"I think we need the members of Finance (Committee) there also," Hall said.
A date and time for that work session has not yet been set.
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