Companies are increasingly recognizing the importance of promoting employee wellness. A Wellness Account is a type of personalized Specialty Account that provides employees with funds or reimbursement for activities like fitness courses, yoga sessions, and more! Although many companies offer wellness benefits of some kind, a Specialty Account for wellness and fitness allows employers to combine benefits into one plan for smooth implementation and ease of access.
How Specialty Accounts Work
Employers can create their benefits plan in three simple steps. First, employers begin working with their assigned representative to select expense categories from an eligible, predefined list. Working together, the employer can create a program that meets the company’s needs and helps boost the employee experience.
Next, the employer sets up the rules.
- Will funds rollover? Opt to allow employees to keep (rollover) unused funds at the end of the year, or not, depending on the company budget.
- How much (and how frequently) will funds be provided? Control how much and how frequently funds are distributed.
- Who can enroll? Set parameters that must be met in order to participate in the benefit.
Once the rules are set, employers need to decide how the funds can be used. There are two options to choose from: carded and non-carded programs. A carded program allows employees to pay for eligible plan expenses using their Beniversal® Prepaid Mastercard®. Participants can take advantage of convenient contactless payments by connecting their Beniversal Card to digital wallets like Apple Pay®, Google Pay®, and Samsung Pay ®. BRI’s sophisticated auto-approval logic minimizes the need for paperwork. Reimbursement claims can be submitted if a different payment source is used.
The non-carded option is reimbursement only. Participants pay for expenses using their preferred payment method. Then, they reimburse themselves through BRIWEB, BRIMOBILE, or by mailing in a claim form with required documentation
The Benefits of a Balanced Workforce
Employees want to work for a company where they feel appreciated and valued. In this hyper-competitive job market, let your benefits do the talking for you. Benefits that promote physical, mental, and financial health allow employees to worry a little less about life’s burdens — providing companies with the following advantages:
- Reduced workplace stress
- Higher productivity rates
- Lower healthcare costs
- Easier talent acquisition
- Increased employee retention rates
- Improved company image and employee workplace experience
The Flexibility in Creating a Wellness Account
Whether employers choose to create a carded or non-carded program, they will be providing a custom benefit tailored for their employees.
There are many ways to include overall wellness into a Specialty Account. Consider including a wide spectrum of options including, physical, emotional, financial, intellectual, and family wellness.
Here are ideas from similar (non-carded) wellness accounts BRI has helped to bring to life:
Traditional Health & Fitness Expenses
Common ineligible expenses: camping registration fees, fishing gear, sports bags/backpacks, hot tubs/saunas, Nintendo Wii/accessories, headphones, apparel, hiking equipment, Apple Watches, cosmetic enhancements (Botox, liposuction, cool sculpting, etc.)
- Activity/sleep/heart-rate trackers and monitors
- Athletic sneakers (1 pair per year)
- Bike rentals
- Equipment rentals (scuba gear, skis, skates, canoes, etc.)
- Exercise classes (e.g., spinning, yoga, dancing, swimming, etc.)
- Fitness app subscription (Peloton, Apple Fitness, etc.)
- Gym, Health Club, Spa, Fitness Studio Memberships
- Home exercise equipment (e.g., treadmills, bicycles, free weights, yoga mats, etc.)
- Massage Therapy (e.g., Massages provided by a registered massage therapist, massage chairs, and massage devices)
- Personal Training
- Physical therapy & rehabilitation
- Protective gear (helmets, pads, goggles, guards, etc.)
- Registration fees for races or physical competitions
- Smoking cessation programs
- Spa services (massage therapy, reiki, reflexology, etc.)
- Sporting equipment (e.g., basketball hoops, hockey sticks, kayaks, etc.)
- Sports lessons, leagues, and team fees (dance, ski, swim, martial arts, etc.)
- Wellness office equipment (ergonomic equipment, treadmill desk, standing desk, swiss ball chair, etc.)
Common ineligible expenses: cooking appliances (blenders, scales, juicers, etc.), food
- Cooking classes
- Nutrition counseling programs
- Prepared meal kits
- Protein powder or pre-workout specialized foods
- Vitamins and Supplements
- Weight management program (excluding food)
Mental Health & Wellness
Common ineligible expenses: daylight LED bulbs and light fixtures, essential oils and devices, self-help and medication books
- Career coaching services
- Education classes to support hobbies, e.g., painting, photography, gardening
- Hypnosis and/or hypnotherapy
- Life Coaching by a certified coach
- Life coaching services
- Meditation classes or apps
- Retreat registration fees (yoga, meditation, hiking, etc.)
- Sleep consultants, clinics, and accessories
- State or national park passes
- Stress management program
- Therapy that promotes emotional well-being (art therapy, flotation therapy, etc.)
- Wellness apps (Calm, Headspace, etc.)
- Wellness spa treatments (e.g., salt therapy, cryotherapy, massages, etc.)
- Credit counseling
- Financial planning
- Membership fees for apps like wealth simple or budget tracking apps
- Tax preparation services
- Wills and estate planning
- Breastfeeding clinics or support
- Relationship counseling
- Sleep consultants
- Audible subscription
- Books and magazine subscriptions (nurturing professional/personal growth)
- Language lessons
- Music lessons
- Productivity tools (planner, calendar, apps)
With all of these options, and the opportunity for more, BRI is confident we can find employers a plan that works for both them and their employees.
As part of our ongoing Specialty Account series, we will continue to cover our most popular Specialty Accounts. We will discuss how each can be used and tailored for specific companies and industries. So, don’t forget to check back next week when we feature an in-depth look at Specialty Accounts: Education.
Don’t want to wait? Check out our overview flyer or request a proposal below