On Monday, Governor Dave Heineman announced the State of Nebraska wellness program, “wellnessoptions,” became the first state program to earn the 2012 C. Everett Koop National Health Award. The award includes stringent requirements for demonstrating health improvements and cost savings.
“I’m thrilled Nebraska is the first state to win this prestigious award,” said Gov. Heineman. “Due to health improvements and increased use of preventive screenings, the State of Nebraska is controlling healthcare costs which benefit the State’s workforce and Nebraska taxpayers across the entire state.”
After three years, the State of Nebraska saw a $4.2 million reduction in claims, strong participation rates and high satisfaction among employees. The return on investment in the program is above the industry average: For every $1 spent on the program, $2.70 is returned in health care savings.
C. Everett Koop award applications are reviewed and scored by some of the nation’s leading experts and researchers in the area of health management. Koop Award winners demonstrate that forward thinking employers can simultaneously improve their workers’ health and reduce spending.
A recently published Wellness Council of America Case Study showcases the program’s components and strategy that the State of Nebraska took to lower costs while improving the health for 13,500 employees and 7,000 spouses.