Companies trying to keep budget lines trim with wellness programs

Craig Lovelace for Business First Kathleen Herath has advice for companies crafting a wellness program for employees: “Always make sure the lawyers are present.” Sounds ominous, but Herath, who oversees wellness efforts at Nationwide Insurance, said a lot goes into customizing programs to meet the needs of workers but not run afoul of the law. “If you ... put it together in a mindful manner, it is much easier to maintain,” said Herath, associate vice president of health and productivity. Five years ago, Nationwide revamped its wellness program and developed MyHealth for its employees across the country. It always had elements of a wellness plan – such as smoking cessation, nutritional and exercise programs – but Herath said it was never a coordinated effort. Nationwide assembled a diverse team to develop a plan that was legal and worthy of the [...]