The Apple Watch will debut in April without some of its highly anticipated health functions, but the market for wearable technology nonetheless remains poised to change the way the health insurance industry operates.
Amid lawsuits challenging wellness programs that penalize non-participants and general questions about the return on investment of such programs, a movement is afoot to recast wellness as well-being.
I did a lot of shaking my head as I wrote about Honeywell's wellness program last week. The New Jersey-based company is planning on penalizing employees who don't participate in health screenings. And a federal judge just sanctioned those penalties, which include fining employees $500 fine for not undergoing biometric screenings and withholding $1,500 annually in company contributions to employees' health savings accounts for not undergoing wellness screenings like blood pressure, glucose and cholesterol tests.
Wellness prorams in the workplace, like the one New Jersey-based Honeywell is planning to implement next year, can penalize employees for not participating, according to a federal judge's decision, Business Insurance reported.
Susan DeVore, CEO of Premier healthcare alliance, outlines eight trends that will affect insurers and providers this year. Here's a sampling, rounded out with some examples from our own recent FierceHealthPayer news coverage.
Digital health trackers and fitness apps are becoming a key part of wellness programming, as health insurers use previously-unavailable data from them to promote healthy lifestyle customer habits. Enabled by the mobile devices people carry, insurers are moving past gym membership subsidies to create meaningful, customer-specific wellness incentives.
UnitedHealth saved $107 million in health costs over three years by engaging its employees, including motivating them to maintain healthy lifestyles and lose weight, according to a new report published in the journal Health Affairs.
After learning of this healthcare fraud scheme, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City has redesigned its wellness program so that the results can be more easily verified.
Most insurers already offer mobile apps that provide members' claims information, deductible status, ID cards, medication prices, as well as doctor and hospital locations. Now they're integrating other elements, such as wellness incentives, into their mobile offerings.
Employers expect health insurance costs to rise 7 percent next year so they are looking to beef up their cost-control measures, including boosting wellness programs and enhancing employees' cost-sharing measures.
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