WASHINGTON, May 27 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Underscoring the broad-based impact imposed by the worst economic environment in decades, the recession is taking a toll on some American workers' health and, consequently, is driving many workers to make behavioral changes to improve their health and well-being and better control their own health care costs, according to a new survey commissioned and released today by the National Business Group on Health (NBGH).
NBGH represents 300 large employers - including 60 of the Fortune 100 - providing health benefits to over 55 million American workers, dependents, and retirees. The survey of 1,500 workers employed at large employers (2,000 or more employees) was conducted by Fidelity Investments in March 2009. Workers in the survey are between the ages of 22 and 69 and provided benefits through an employer-sponsored or union-sponsored health plan.
"These data confirm that the widespread economic anxiety is cascading onto individual workers' health and well-being," said National Business Group on Health President Helen Darling. "At the same time, the data also show that workers are more aligned with businesses about cost concerns and that individuals are taking demonstrable steps to improve their own personal health. For workers, businesses, and policymakers, this environment presents a 'teachable moment' to inculcate a renewed culture of health, including making healthier food choices and increased exercise."
NBGH commissioned this survey to ascertain how the recession is affecting American workers and to provide a snapshot about those areas where businesses should work more closely with their employees to help support them during a very challenging environment. Among the key findings:
The National Business Group on Health believes the survey data provide a pathway for businesses to help their workers cope - and thrive - despite the bad economy, including offering financial incentives to motivate health behavior changes; disseminating more information about the costs and quality of services at a provider level (for example, encouraging retail clinics for non-emergency care); using benefit statements to clearly articulate a commitment to wellness; and providing more targeted communications based on specific health conditions.
|SOURCE National Business Group on Health|
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