ANDOVER, MA--(Marketwire - Jun 14, 2011) - Wellness is all the rage at large employers today, but it's largely ignored at smaller firms, broker Jim Edholm of Business Benefits Insurance writes in a recent issue of Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly.

That attitude needs to change because helping people avoid illnesses, particularly chronic illnesses, can dramatically lower medical costs, he writes.

And medical costs may be the tip of the iceberg. In one study by the Integrated Benefits Institute and published by the National Pharmaceutical Council, medical costs were found to be only 27% the employer's cost of ill health, Edholm points out.

"Focusing solely on the medical costs ignores broader but harder-to-measure costs," he writes.

But now Uncle Sam has stepped into the gap.

The new healthcare law provides $200 million in grants for small companies to start first-ever wellness programs in their company.

"If you have fewer than 100 employees and no wellness program prior to March 23, 2010, you may qualify for such a grant," Edholm says. "Act now before the grants are gone."

For more information about federal wellness grants, contact Edholm at or call 978-474-4730.

A widely published and quoted expert on employee benefits, Edholm is president and founder of Business Benefits Insurance ( of Andover, MA. BBI has been guiding Massachusetts employers to cost-effective benefit selection and design for more than a quarter century.

Contact Information:

Henry Stimpson
Stimpson Communications