How Employers Can Slash the Cost of Health Benefits


In 2007, King County, Washington State, launched an intensive employee wellness and patient compliance effort targeting its 14,000 employees. Given the size of its workforce, health care was a significant cost center. According to Dow Constantine, the County’s top executive, “We were being eaten alive by runaway medical costs.”

In response, the County invested in a program that incented employees to change their behavior. After obtaining labor union support, the County invested nearly $7 million over the first two years developing the program and conducting employee outreach and education.

According to Constantine, the upfront investment saved the County over $46 million in the first five years (2007-11). “Our success was due in part to financial incentives we offered our employees,” says Constantine. “The effort returned $61 million in surplus health care funds to the county.”

Read more on the cost of health benefits on IndustryWeek.

IndustryWeek is an NED companion site within Penton's Manufacturing & Supply Chain Group.


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