It costs five times more to insure an employee who has cancer than one who doesn’t, a recent survey revealed. But it could cost your organization as little as $2.95 per employee, per month to cover the costs of early detection.
In return, your organization could save up to $3.75 per covered employee per month estimates C-Change, a consortium of public- and private-sector organizations working to eliminate cancer as a major public health threat.
Here is what your organization can do to help prevent cancer among your employees and lower the medical and lost-productivity costs associated with the disease.
1. Increase cancer coverage. Your health plan probably covers recommended breast, cervical and colorectal cancer screenings, as well as smoking-cessation programs. Improve the odds that employees will take advantage of that coverage by:
- Eliminating co-payments and deductibles for early-detection services
- Extending coverage of these services to employees’ spouses and dependents
- Informing employees about screening services
- Reminding workers when they are due for screening exams
2. Push prevention. Employees are more likely to have screening tests or participate in smoking-cessation programs when their employers inform them of the services and remind them to sign up. Improve the participation of your employees by:
- Educating them about why, when and where they should be screened for common cancers or find help to quit smoking
- Inviting employees who discovered cancer through early detection to speak at brown-bag lunches
- Including reminders for screenings in employee birthday cards
- Scheduling mobile mammography vans to come to your workplace
- Allowing employees to get their screenings during the workday
3. Ban smoking. Enforce a tobacco-free workplace policy—indoors and out. Extend the smoking ban to all remote locations, company cars and rental spaces. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers sample workplace policies at www.cdc.gov/tobacco/secondhand_smoke/00_pdfs/appx.pdf.