There’s a tool that’s used in the wellness business called the health risk assessment. Some of them are very thin, and some of them are inordinately comprehensive. I’ve seen health risk assessments that are as few as five questions, and we’ve also seen some that are 10 or 15 pages long. They can become quite invasive in terms of asking people about their personal habits, lifestyle, and alcohol consumption/smoking. A lot of people, if they’re just getting into this whole wellness game, they’re not as apt to sit down and share that kind of personal information with you so that you can end up helping them. So there are a lot of different opinions as to how to use these health risk assessments.
Some companies want to start off their wellness program by using a health risk assessment. Our suggestion is that, if you do want to do that, you use one of the simpler 10 or 15 question health risk assessments. Once you get your folks to understand what a wellness program is all about, that it really is meant to get them healthier and help them not spend as much money on health insurance, then you can get into some of the more comprehensive health risk assessments that look at personal lifestyles and habits relative to exercise and eating, smoking, and drinking: those kinds of things which have far bigger ramifications in this whole game of trying to get people to be healthier in the first place. The best way to figure out what your employees will do is to have a conversation with us about the use of a health risk assessment, and decide whether it’s something you want to use at the front end of a wellness program, or, use as a tool as you get your wellness program up and running, trying to improve upon it and make it even better.