It’s harder than ever for small businesses to recruit and retain employees when everyone is competing for talent and national businesses have far deeper pockets for salary and benefits. 9Health:365 (formerly known as 9Health Fair), a trusted community nonprofit for more than 42 years, is empowering small businesses to offer 365: Comprehensive, a valuable health benefit their employees will actually use, and one that’s affordable for them and for the company.
While Colorado minimum wage is $12.32/hour, a wave of national employers including Amazon, Costco, and Target offer $15/hour and up, often with benefits. It’s no wonder small businesses need an edge to attract the workers necessary to serve their communities. At the same time, workers' concerns about health and safety are rising. A 2021 Jobvite survey found that 64 percent of job seekers say the search is more stressful than before the pandemic, with COVID-19 exposure named the biggest stressor.
Combine this challenge with the fact that last year, one out of five Coloradans went without a prescription, doctor visit, or specialist care due to cost. This is the context for 365: Comprehensive, which combines an essential health screening with accessible and affordable text-based telehealth and unlimited guidance from medical professionals. Complementary to insurance, it reduces out of pocket costs for participants regardless of insurance status.
“We believe 365: Comprehensive is a breakthrough health service product, “says 9Health:365 Chief Executive Officer, Gary Drews. “At $99 a person – for a full year - we are offering a preventive health platform that organizations can afford to offer – regardless of other health services or insurance.” While employees may have access to “traditional” telehealth, Drews noted that a text-based service requires only a smartphone and makes live physician chat available anywhere, anytime, which is particularly valuable to employees juggling personal and work priorities.
Known for its historical emphasis on prevention, 9Health:365 sees this service as a natural extension of its local annual health fairs. “With 365: Comprehensive, members can get their blood chemistry screening, which provides 28 essential measures of health, then connect with a physician any time via text to get answers to questions or concerns,” Drews said. He added that combining screenings and unlimited virtual primary care means that over time, 365: Comprehensive could help its members stay healthier, potentially reducing costs and increasing productivity. The telehealth service is provided by Denver-based virtual primary care company CirrusMD.
Current members note the service has kept them out of the ER, urgent care, and their doctor’s office, as their concerns could be handled by texting with a physician. “During COVID-19, the telehealth physicians ...were able to prescribe in a pinch, like when refilling had slipped my mind.... The whole experience was very comfortable, very reassuring. They made it so easy, and normal, to get care. It was better to make adjustment with a telehealth doctor on the fly rather than wait for in-person appointments and it reduced my monthly out of pocket costs,” said member Anna Bliska of Denver.
Restaurant, retail and other workers benefit from accessing 365: Comprehensive text-based telehealth any time and any where.
Photo credit: CirrusMD