Wellness Program That Motivates Participants to Make Healthier Choices Yields Better Health, Lower Costs, Tracking Data Reveals

Improved health, as shown through lower health care costs and fewer unscheduled absences were found among employees who actively participated in the HumanaVitality program, according to results of a recent study.

Among the significant findings from the two-year study:

  • Unengaged members in both years averaged $53 more per month spent on health care claims than members who were engaged in HumanaVitality both years.
  • The largest impact on health care costs was on members with lifestyle-related chronic conditions like high blood pressure or diabetes. Engaged members with these conditions had 60 percent lower health claims costs than unengaged members with these conditions.

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  • Also, unscheduled absences were 56.3 percent higher among unengaged members in both years than engaged members.

HumanaVitality is a data-driven wellness and rewards program that motivates members to make healthier life choices, the company said.

Overall, the study showed a positive correlation between participation in the program and employee productivity, Humana reported.

“Employers know why they need to focus on employee wellness, but they struggle with how to achieve it,” said Beth Bierbower, Humana’s Employer Group Segment president.

“In a well-designed and verifiable program like HumanaVitality, employees take control of their own health and well-being, leading to better business outcomes as well, she added.”

The study was performed on a cohort of Humana associates that were on a Humana employee medical health plan for a full 12 months in at least two consecutive plan years over the study period.

Humana said it’s actuaries conducted the study for the following time period: Baseline Year (July 2010 – June 2011), Year 1 of the HumanaVitality program (July 2011 – June 2012) and Year 2 of the HumanaVitality program (July 2012 – June 2013).

Only it’s employees were included in the study, Humana said. Persons with high cost claims (greater than $ 150,000 in the baseline year, year 1 or year 2) were removed from the sample. The final sample size was 13,046 members in the year 1 analysis and 16,296 members in the year 2 analysis, the company said.

An infographic about the HumanaVitality Health Claims and Productivity Impact Study of Humana associates is available at: www.humana.com/whenwellnessworks.

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