Corporate Insight

Digital Wellness Rewards Programs

Posted on April 19, 2017

Following in the footsteps of incentive programs in the retail and credit card industries, health plans’ health and wellness rewards programs recognize healthy habits, such as purchasing nutritious food, exercising or receiving preventive care, with discounts and fitness-related prizes. In addition to improving participants’ health, these programs help lower healthcare spending and claims costs. This report examines the health and wellness rewards programs offered to health plan members within the Healthcare Monitor coverage group and how they are marketed.

Currently, only 42% of our 14-plan coverage group offer digital rewards platforms, 40% of which are provided through third-party partnerships. All programs reward participants for completing health-related activities, ranging from visiting fitness centers to donating blood. Health assessments and connecting fitness devices/mobile apps to track movement are the most commonly rewarded activities, currently recognized by 80% of the platforms. Oscar offers the most limited and simple program of the group, furnishing users with an app that logs steps and rewards them with Amazon gift cards accordingly. Recognizing 11 out of 14 activities identified in this report, Humana’s platform rewards the largest number of behaviors in the coverage group. Participants in all programs work to earn points that they then exchange for fitness-related prizes or reimbursements on plan expenses. Forty percent of the coverage group provides a digital shopping experience in which users can exchange points for merchandise. All programs but Oxford/UnitedHealthcare’s Rally create distinct point-to-prize ratios, wherein a certain number of points yields a certain prize. Rally, however, employs a lotto system in which users spend points for entries into a drawing for an item, a move that likely reduces costs for the platform by decreasing the number of rewards to participants while simultaneously also potentially demoralizing participants who are no longer assured an exact prize.