The JPIA Wellness Grant Program is intended to help agencies participating in JPIA Anthem medical plans establish a wellness program or carry out a wellness initiative. Grant funds are provided by Anthem on an annual basis, but this is not guaranteed. Agency wellness programs are open to employees enrolled in any JPIA medical plan. The amount of funds available to an agency is a minimum of $200 and a maximum of $2,000. The amount awarded is based on headcount, or the request from the agency, if less. The grant period normally runs from July 1 – June 30. Applications are typically sent out in late May to eligible agencies. (Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the grant period for the 2020/21 grant year is August 1 – July 31 with applications going out in late June.)
Those agencies who wish to participate must go through the JPIA’s application process, and if they are granted funds, they must provide receipts showing how the wellness funds were spent. JPIA requires that the funds be used to improve employee health and well-being, such as activities centered on exercise, nutrition, stress reduction, improved sleep, etc. Funds should not be used for activities that are primarily team-building unless they have a wellness component. Agencies are encouraged to utilize free programs being offered by the carriers to supplement and enhance their wellness activities. Programs can be big or small, limited in duration or ongoing. Even small efforts can help employees start thinking about wellness and how to improve their health. Not only do healthier employees (and healthier dependents) help keep medical premiums down, but they also have reduced absenteeism, increased presenteeism, improved productivity and morale.