Health Plan Wellness Dollars Can Fund Your Smoking Cessation Program

Health Plan Wellness Dollars Can Fund Your Smoking Cessation Program

Did you know you can use wellness dollars from your health plan to buy a point solution for tobacco cessation?

Many employers don’t realize that some insurance carriers will provide wellness dollars to companies to implement wellness programs. These wellness dollars are available to fully insured and self-insured companies. The amount your company may be able to receive depends on the number of employees.

Once you’ve contacted your insurance carrier to find out if your plan covers participatory or health-contingent programs, you’ll want to determine the best way to use those wellness program funds. One of the most cost-effective health benefits you can provide to employees is a quit-tobacco program.

Why invest in a point solution for smoking cessation with your wellness dollars?

Simply put: tobacco users add expenses for employers. Each smoker costs about $8,156 annually.

Use this calculator to find out just how much tobacco users cost your business.  

Investing your wellness program dollars in a comprehensive tobacco cessation program that is outside of what your health insurance provides can mean a better solution for your unique population.

But how do you know which program will have the greatest impact?

What to look for in a quit-tobacco program

To help employees and their families live tobacco-free, it’s important to select a smoking cessation program that delivers gains for your employees and your company.

Typically, health insurance providers offer programs that:

  • Align with clinical practice guidelines for treating tobacco dependence
  • Provide phone coaching
  • Refer employees to talk to their doctor to receive free quit medication
  • Include access to a web portal

These 4 features are important. But for many employees, this isn’t enough. It’s essential to look for a quit-tobacco program that makes evidence-based tools easy to access. Also, be sure to look for services that make your life easier too through a real-time dashboard and expert guidance from a client success team, as well as fresh year-round promotional materials to keep the program top of mind.

Buy a point solution for ease of access

Digital cessation programs such as the EX Program offer easy access to evidence-based support through on-demand text messaging, live chat with tobacco treatment experts, and 24/7 social support through a robust online community.

In addition, with programs like the EX Program, employees don’t have to go to a doctor to get free quit medication. They can easily connect with an EX Coach to order it online and have it shipped to their home.

Have a difficult-to-reach population that doesn’t have smartphones? Be sure to look for a mobile-optimized program that is available through any platform (desktop, tablet, or phone)—and delivers a dynamically tailored and robust text messaging platform to meet tobacco users where they are.

Buy a point solution for real-time reporting

Gathering real-time data for incentives and program performance from healthcare plans can be tough. When you use a point solution, you should gain easy-access reporting on engagement and program completion at your fingertips, making administration duties much easier.

Buy a point solution for a partner in promotions

Ongoing promotional materials, such as posters, fliers, newsletters and social media posts, that speak to users of all ages and all types of tobacco use (e-cigarettes, vaping, and chewing tobacco), sustain program awareness. But creating that content takes additional time and resources.

Working with the right partner, like the EX Program, can help take the weight of creating messaging off your shoulders. Our Client Success Managers partner with clients to provide relevant promotional materials for their population, and we offer an arsenal of campaigns to support ongoing awareness.

See more about how the EX Program partners with clients for promotions in our blog The Secret Sauce for High Member Engagement in Tobacco Cessation.

More resources to be a smart buyer

When investing in a quit-tobacco program, you want to ensure you get the most you can out of your health plan dollars. Knowing what makes a tobacco cessation program effective will help make this benefit successful for your employees’ health and for your bottom line.

Interested in learning more key things to look for when buying a point solution for tobacco cessation? Download “The Buyer’s Guide for Workplace Smoking Cessation Programs.”

Jessie Saul, Ph.D.

Director, Strategic Insights

Dr. Jessie Saul brings 19 years of experience in research, program evaluation, and strategic implementation around tobacco cessation. She applies this deep understanding to improve EX Program performance and reduce tobacco use among populations. She earned her Ph.D. in Science and Technology Studies from Cornell University.

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