GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–In a new five-year study, Priority Health has proven that its hybrid
health plan featuring wellness incentives has successfully lowered
employer costs and improved employee health, a win-win development for
small and large business owners alike.
More than 75 percent of the $2.8 trillion in national health care costs
are due to chronic disease, such as coronary heart disease and type 2
diabetes reports the National Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention and
Health Promotion. And according to the Michigan Department of Community
Health, nearly 60 percent of Michigan’s population suffers from one or
more chronic conditions. Diseases that can largely be prevented by
making comprehensive lifestyle changes.
The combined challenge of rising health care costs and the prevalence of
chronic conditions take a toll on employee wellness, performance and
attendance. Have a negative effect on employer overhead. It’s why a Tower
Watson study found 66 percent of employers nationwide are looking to
build a healthy workplace culture.
In 2007, Priority Health launched HealthbyChoice®,
a plan designed to reward participants for getting and staying healthy
while reducing health care costs for employers. HealthbyChoice
plans raise awareness of potential health risks and reward employees for
making measurable progress towards being healthier. The incentive-based
health plan is working.
In the five-year study, Priority Health identified the impact of HealthbyChoice
plans in two key areas: chronic conditions and cost. The study compared
nine employer groups with HealthbyChoice to nine groups without
the plan representing nearly 9,000 members. Each member on a HealthbyChoice
plan saved employers up to 12 percent in claims cost or, on average, $60
per month. This reduction in overall health care costs helped save
employers roughly $1.2 million over four years.
The study showed a marked reduction in the development of chronic
conditions and disease in the HealthbyChoice population,
specifically around chronic lung disease (27 percent less), diabetes (26
percent less) and ischemic heart disease (26 percent less).
“Employers are taking a greater interest in the well-being of their
employees. For good reason,”. Said Marti Lolli, Priority Health,
senior vice president of commercial products. “Healthier employees mean
lower cost and less absenteeism. The HealthbyChoice plans are
creating the return on investment employers are looking for in their
workplace wellness programs.”
Based on guidelines put out by the Centres for Disease Control and
Prevention, Priority Health uses five indicators to measure employee
—. Tobacco use
—. Blood pressure
—. Blood sugar
Amy Miller, (616) 464-8571