Friday, January 4, 2013

Get Paid to Get Healthy

Happy 2013! With the New Year comes a time for us to take stock and make resolutions to live better lives. January is always a clean slate when many people, myself included, make commitments to exercise more, eat better and improve our overall health. Unfortunately, as we’ve all experienced, most resolutions don’t even make it to the Super Bowl.

But what if you could save money, or even get paid for making -- and achieving -- some of those promises aimed at improving your health? We can all certainly use a little more motivation! That’s the idea behind a range of new health benefits plans and incentive programs offered by a growing number of employers.

In fact, almost 80 percent of U.S. employers offer worksite wellness programs, many featuring financial incentives, according to the National Committee for Quality Assurance. Helping to drive the trend is the recognition that more needs to be done to improve wellness and prevent disease.

For example, beginning in 2014, the Affordable Care Act allows employers to offer employees rewards of up to 30 percent of the cost of coverage for participating in a wellness program or meeting certain health measures, such as for body mass index, blood pressure or cholesterol levels.

Some health plans offer gift cards, premium reductions or even direct financial contributions to health savings accounts for employees who engage in wellness activities, such as completing an online health assessment, a telephone-based health coaching program or an at-home health screening. At UnitedHealthcare, we offer large Pennsylvania employers Personal Rewards, a wellness program that enables an employee to earn up to $600 per year, or $1,200 per couple, for meeting certain health benchmarks.
Resolutions may come and go but a healthier lifestyle is something we all need to strive to make permanent. As insurers - and fellow resolution makers - we understand that a financial boost is the kind of incentive that can make all the difference. I hope all of my readers have a very happy and healthy New Year where all your resolutions come true!

Keeping healthy resolutions is even easier when you have a group to keep you motivated

1 comment:

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