Health Insurance Wellness Programs: Why You're Missing Out
Being an insurance agent in the Palm Beach County area of Florida, I work with a lot of small businesses setting up their employee benefits packages. I know a lot of people find insurance to be one of the least interesting (maybe even painful) topics to tackle, but it is important. With health insurance premiums increasing and benefits declining, you must be educated on the health plan you decide to enroll in.
One popular trend in the health insurance industry is the increasing number of health plans offering wellness programs. Being a millennial myself, I know my generation may think these programs are a waste of time and only benefit the insurance company, but don’t be so quick to write them off! Here’s why.
My favorite wellness program is HumanaVitality (rebranding as Go365). HumanaVitality is included in Humana health insurance plans at no cost. HumanaVitality rewards members for making healthy choices; earning real stuff just for going to the gym, quitting smoking, taking a quiz or leaning first aide. Whenever members do something that promotes their well-being, Vitality keeps track of it, increasing their Vitality score and earning Vitality Bucks. Vitality Bucks can be redeemed for rewards such as, movie tickets, retailer gift cards, fitness trackers (the Fitbit Blaze is now included), vacations and more!
Now that you know you can actually gain from these programs, you may be wondering how to earn points. You start by taking a Health Assessment online or through the App to learn your Vitality Age – a measure of how young or old you’re living. Based on your Health Assessment results, Vitality recommends healthy goals for you to complete to stay healthy. For each goal you complete, you earn points. Points can also be earned by completing Activities, such as education, fitness, and prevention.
Members can earn vitality points by completing educational related training. For example, completing the Health Assessment and accepting online statements earn you points. Learning CPR and First Aid also earn you points.
Vitality rewards members for getting annual wellness exams. Many preventive services covered 100% under your health insurance plan will earn you points. For example, getting your annual dental and/or vision exam and flu shot earn you points. Another way to earn points is through a Vitality Check – a biometric screening that tests BMI, blood pressure, blood glucose, and cholesterol.
One of the best ways to earn points is by working out. Each verified workout – through partner health clubs, fitness devices, or Mobile Apps – earns you 15 Vitality points per day. If you are part of a sports league or participating in athletic events, like a 5k race or triathlon, you earn points.
So, earning points is easy but what will they get you? Good question. You can spend your points in the HumanaVitality Mall to redeem gift cards, fitness devices, gear and apparel, electronics, and even donate them to charity. Macy’s, Amazon, Target, Fitbit, Nike, Garmin, Apple are just a few of the brands available in the Vitality Mall.
What if you don’t like any of the rewards? This is my favorite part of Vitality. If you have your health insurance through your employer, you can use your points to reduce your health insurance premiums by up to 10%! Hopefully, this option will become available to individuals not covered under a group plan.
Next time you hear about your health insurance plan’s wellness program, I urge you to take a second look. It is not hard to earn these points and you are rewarded for doing so. Just think, next time you are at the gym or at your doctor’s office you could be on your way to earning an iPad!