September 5, 1986

Worksite Wellness Programs: Latest Wrinkle to Smooth Health Care Costs

JAMA. 1986;256(9):1089-1095. doi:10.1001/jama.1986.03380090017003

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"WELLNESS" is what they call the latest appeal to Americans' belief in human perfectibility, and it's not to be confused with health. Almost anyone left to his or her own devices just might coast along feeling healthy, but—according to advocates of this approach—wellness is something one has to work at.

In fact, it's at work that many people think wellness counts most. Some 370 participants in a recent conference in Omaha called "Health-Task '86: Working for Wellness" were exhorted time and again to spur the persons under their direction toward achieving "wellness at the worksite." The conference was sponsored by the Health Insurance Association of America (HIAA) and the Wellness Council of the Midlands (WELCOM).

Much of the support for the movement comes from the health and life insurance industry under the reasonable assumption that people who are well tend to require less medical care and die after paying more