Monday, August 16, 2010

Investing In Wellness: Northwestern Mutual Expands Program To Decrease Health Care Costs

“Last December, Melanie Herman was sick with the flu and decided to seek relief in the health care clinic at her employer Northwestern Mutual. Medical visits to the clinic are $5 for employees in the company health plan and their dependents. The clinic is one prong of Milwaukee-based Northwestern Mutual’s strategy to improve employee wellness and reduce health care costs. During her exam at the downtown clinic, Herman, 36, learned she was both diabetic and had high blood pressure. That was not good news for Herman, a senior investment accountant, but it gave her information she needed to start improving her health. She has since lost 30 pounds through a combination of medication, which she’s off for now, using the on-site fitness center and dining on the healthy menu at the company cafeteria. Northwestern Mutual, with an ongoing string of profits and 4,900 local employees, has long been known for its market-leading employee benefits. The fact that even this company has found ways to further improve employees’ work environment and wellness demonstrates that Milwaukee-area employers are continuing to emphasize wellness and it’s paying off, said Dianne Kiehl, executive director of Business Health Care Group, Franklin. Kiehl, who leads the group of 1,100 area employers of all sizes...^3801661

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