Is a Wellness Program with EpiCor Right for Your Company?
Perhaps no economic issue has impacted American businesses in recent years more than escalating health care costs. Since companies continue to shoulder the responsibility for the health care costs of its workers, business owners large and small are actively searching for ways to lower their health care insurance costs and increase overall worker health to improve their bottom lines.
Embria Health Sciences understands this trend better than most companies. This is because our very existence is the result of an accidental discovery of immune benefits caused by nutritional ingredients made by our parent company. Manufacturing employees who were in direct contact with its fermented yeast culture were healthier and used less sick time than office workers not exposed to the product. The company also realized that it was experiencing 40-60% lower health insurance premiums overall than businesses of similar size in its region. This discovery led to the establishment of Embria to develop a nutritious fermentation ingredient for human consumption. The result was EpiCor (read more). Since its creation, EpiCor has been provided to all Embria and Diamond V employees and their families as part of a wellness program.
Just like the discovery of EpiCor, many businesses and cities are realizing that “wellness” programs offer a cost-effective way to lower healthcare costs and improve productivity. According to a recent study published by the American Journal of Health Promotions, for every dollar spent on corporate wellness programs, employers can expect a return of $2.30 to $10.10 through lower medical claims, reduced absenteeism, improved productivity and other factors.
Municipalities and businesses alike understand EpiCor provides a cost-effective part of corporate wellness programs by decreasing healthcare costs and increasing worker productivity.
The City of Ankeny Wellness Program with EpiCor
In 2010, the City of Ankeny, IA approached Embria to add EpiCor to its wellness program. Nearly 100 city employees and family members participated in a pilot program, taking EpiCor daily for six months. The results of the program were amazing!
Deb Dyar, Public Relations, City of Ankeny
The City’s human resource department noted a 28% decrease in doctor visits among those employees and family members taking EpiCor. This decrease parallels and complements published, clinical research on EpiCor, which show a 26% decrease in cold and flu symptoms versus placebo groups.
With these cost-saving results, the City of Ankeny officially launched EpiCor in its wellness program in September 2012. ProActive Health, an Iowa dietary supplement company, helped the city manage administrative costs of the on-going program by setting up an on-line ordering process that allowed employees to order ProActive Health Product’s EpiCor directly with an easy link from the City of Ankeny website.
City of Ankeny Press Release (Pilot Program)
City of Ankeny Press Release (Official Launch in 2012)
Embria and Swanson Health Combine to Help Employees Stay Healthy I Press Release PDF
Employees at Swanson Health Products report positive results and health benefits from a four-month trial, taking Swanson’s own “EpiCor” product during one of worst flu seasons in years. Here are details of the pilot program:
"Swanson partnered with Embria to incorporate EpiCor into its SWAP (Swanson Wellness Awareness Program) Incentives plan during the cold weather months of mid-November 2012 through mid-March 2013. Over 120 employees signed up for the program to receive free EpiCor and 72 employees completed the four-month EpiCor regimen and completed the final survey." – Swanson Health Products
Some results from Swanson employees who took EpiCor regularly and completed the final survey include:
- 78% believe that EpiCor benefited their health
- 82% want EpiCor to continue to be part of their Wellness program
- 86% would recommend EpiCor to others
- 67% believed that their immune system is strengthened from taking EpiCor
Said Paul Faganel, President of Embria, “I’m very pleased with these sorts of benefits from Swanson Health employees, though I’m not surprised. Since EpiCor was launched in 2007, Embria has made significant investments in clinical research that shows taking EpiCor strengthens the immune system and results in significant human health benefits.”
The trial may have been a corporate wellness first -- a dietary supplement company provides an actual product that the company sells to general consumers to its own employees to demonstrate real benefits.
“Swanson Health Products likes to ‘walk the talk’ when it comes to dietary supplements we sell. That’s why we offer special discounts to our employees. The results from the Wellness pilot with Embria demonstrate that employees really found a benefit taking EpiCor.” – Swanson Health Products