Wellness programs improve health, cut costs
Humana's wellness program improved employee health as well as lowered healthcare costs, according to a two-year study of more than 13,000 employees, the Louisville, Ky.-based insurer announced yesterday.
Employees participating in wellness programs provided through HumanaVitality had 56 percent fewer unscheduled absences from work and spent an average of $53 les per month on claims. What's more, participants with lifestyle-related chronic conditions, including high blood pressure and diabetes, had 60 percent lower costs.
"This study shows that employee wellness programs built on measurable data can improve people's lifestyles and positively impact business results," HumanaVitality CEO Joe Woods said in a statement. "These important results are encouraging and will be used to shape and build the program in the years to come."
Humana launched HumanaVitality in 2011 when it partnered with South African company Discovery Holdings to offer wellness programs that reward members through a point system that can result in prizes like movie tickets, airline miles and music downloads. For example, members will receive points for exercising, not smoking, regular health screenings and flu shots, FierceHealthPayer previously reported.
"Employers know why they need to focus on employee wellness, but they struggle with how to achieve it," said Beth Bierbower, president of Humana's employer group segment, adding that HumanaVitality lets employees take charge of their own health and well-being.
Humana's partnership with Discovery is part of a growing trend where insurers help employers develop successful wellness programs by, for example, tailoring the programs to each company's specific culture, incorporating social gaming strategies and focusing on the influx of Millennials in the workforce.
To learn more:
- here's the HumanaVitality statement
Companies increasingly embrace wellness programs to cut costs
Social gaming could help improve member wellness
Humana to offer wellness incentives program
Boost health, lower costs with behavioral economics
4 ways to improve workplace wellness programs
Tailor wellness programs to company's culture
How do wellness programs, mobile apps and social outreach support accountable care?