New Rewards-based Wellness Program Launched by Humana

by: Nichole Gunn April 18, 2011

Humana, one of the leading health insurers, launched its own employee wellness program in efforts to reinforce its focus on employee health. According to ABC News, the healthcare provider, based in Louisville, Kentucky, is utilizing non-cash rewards incentives for those employees who are best in achieving the company’s objectives.

The new wellness program was initiated to help reduce the company’s soaring healthcare costs. It is also intended to reduce the healthcare expenses for the employees. Along with the reduction of out-of-pocket expenses, employees should be motivated by the non-cash incentives that Humana is offering for workers who show the most significant progress. The employee rewards will be distributed through a point system and include: movie tickets, free music downloads, free airline miles, and other desirable items.

Based on the accumulation of rewards points, employees have the opportunity to shot for big ticket items, such as fitness equipment and electronics. Features of the program are geared to reward employees for smoking cessation, weight control, flu shots, and regular health screenings. The eligible participants include over 3 million commercial members of Humana’s network.

Humana spokesman Tom Noland explained, "The goal is to foster positive behavior change. At least 50 percent of health care costs come from health behaviors that can be improved. This program has been shown to work very effectively in fostering such change."

Along with the wellness program, Humana plans to open HumanaVitality. This new office in Chicago will focus on wellness incentives and healthier lifestyle options that will help motivate employees toward better health.

In conjunction with this endeavor, Humana is uniting with Discover Vitality in a joint effort to manage healthcare costs “through prevention and wellness programs.” Discovery Vitality is an incentive-based health-enhancement program that serves over 1.9 million people.

Discovery Holdings' chief executive Adrian Gore said that the joint venture “combines Humana's brand credibility and scale with Vitality's intellectual property and proven track record in consumer-engaged wellness programs."

Employee engagement is a key element of employee participation and another firm in the healthcare industry was recently recognized for its achievements in that area. The Nebraska-based healthcare staffing firm Medical Solutions received the honor of being one of the best places to work in the city. The Omaha Chamber of Commerce noted that Medical Solutions received the distinction due to its employee satisfaction and motivation strategies.