UnitedHealthcare has introduced a new rewards program in which eligible members, including spouses, can use wearable devices to earn up to $1,000 each per year by completing various daily health goals and one-time activities.
One of the ways people can earn this money through UnitedHealthcare Rewards is by using a compatible activity tracker, smartwatch or smartphone to meet daily activity goals, and track sleep and other health-related activities.
The financial rewards people earn can either be added to a prepaid debit card or deposited into a health savings account for members who want help covering out-of-pockets medical costs, said UHC.
While almost 90% of employees have access to well-being programs through their employer, only 23% use them, according to a recent study from Gartner. The new rewards program is designed to change that.
It aims to do so by offering daily opportunities to earn incentives, as well as integration through myuhc.com and the UnitedHealthcare app. The program uses a broad definition of wellness and incentives to encourage members to pursue various healthy activities.
Chief Growth Officer Brandon Cuevas called it a “modern approach” that leverages gamification elements to incentivize members to improve their health.
WHAT’S THE IMPACT
Once enrolled, UnitedHealthcare Rewards members can earn incentives through a number of ongoing and one-time activities, including achieving 5,000 steps or more each day; completing 15 minutes or more of activity per day; tracking sleep for 14 nights; getting a biometric screening; completing a health survey; and selecting paperless billing.
More qualifying activities will be added throughout the year.
The program is now available to select employers with fully insured plans at the start of their new plan year. Additional employers with fully insured plans will gain access later in 2023, with the goal to enable self-funded customers to purchase UnitedHealthcare Rewards in 2024.
THE LARGER TREND
Insurers are promoting wellness and other incentives to reduce costs.
A recent study by Cigna found that triple integration of medical, pharmacy and behavioral benefits resulted in lower healthcare costs for employers.
Elevance has introduced a health app called Sydney that gives members a health assessment of the drivers of health – physical, behavioral, and social – and helps the health plan offer members programs that might interest them.