Earlier this month, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed a bill aiming to encourage small businesses to launch workplace wellness programs.
Through the “Healthy Jobs Act,” companies with 50 or fewer employees will be able to apply for grants covering up to 30 percent of the costs of starting new wellness programs. To be eligible, companies must not have wellness programs already in place.
“With a return on investment between $3 and $7 for every $1 invested, wellness programs are a practical investment that can help reduce chronic disease and future health care costs for small businesses across the state,” said Republican state Sen. Terry Moulton, a sponsor of the bill. “The cost of treating chronic disease accounts for over 75 percent of national health expenditures. With small businesses employing a significant percentage of Wisconsinites, workplace wellness programs can help reduce overall health care costs in Wisconsin and keep our economy moving forward by boosting productivity.”
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services will administer the grant program once it is fully implemented.
Moulton noted that the wellness legislation garnered “overwhelming bipartisan support” and received unanimous approval in the state Senate and Assembly.
“The Healthy Jobs Act can help small businesses across the state implement wellness programs that can boost productivity and reduce massive health care costs, which is great news for Wisconsin’s economy and the health of our citizens,” Moulton said.