Getting healthier

As the 12th-largest and fastest-growing independent insurance agency in the united states, AssuredPartners has for the past three years been looking for ways to increase participation in wellness programs by its more than 5,000 employees.

Offering employees incentives for participating in wellness programs may be one way to do that. Alex Alsup, health and productivity account manager at AssuredPartners, says the company’s incentives program has evolved over the past three years as it has tried to drive employee engagement and participation.

“When we started in 2017, it was a Humana Go365 participatory program that rewarded employees up to $300 worth of gift cards based on their use of health and wellness activities,” Alsup explains.

Go365 awarded employees points for healthful endeavors such as getting a flu shot, undergoing health screenings and running in 5K races. The points were good for gift cards that could be used at a special Humana 365 online mall.

“We had decent participation, but not great,” Alsup says.

In 2018, AssuredPartners moved to a new insurance plan that allowed employees to earn up to $100 in gift cards based on meeting four objectives – taking a health survey, undergoing a biometric screening, undergoing an age-related screening or annual physical, and completing three “Rally” missions, she explains.

“These were bite-sized missions based on health questions we asked,” Alsup says regarding the latter. “There were tons of missions to choose from.”

Participation increased, with 39 percent of employees getting involved.

In 2019, AssuredPartners moved to an outcomes-based program that could lead to reduced health care premiums for employees. Employees took a health survey and underwent a biometric screening, and successfully completed the program if they were in range for three of five biomarkers, Alsup says. The biomarkers were a waist circumference of 35 for females and 40 for males (or BMI of 27.5 or less); blood pressure lower than 130/80; glucose of less than 100; triglycerides of 150 or less; and HDL of 50 or less for females and 40 or less for males.

“If they weren’t in range, they had to either undergo 1-on-1 coaching, which consists of three telephone coaching sessions, or take the coaching module, which is an online coaching program, in order to earn the 2020 incentive,” Alsup explains.

There’s also a nine-session weight management program called Real Appeal for anyone whose BMI was 27.5 or higher.

Looking toward 2020, the program will continue to be outcomes-based, but two new reasonable alternatives will be added. Condition management will enable employees with serious chronic conditions to work with nurses to earn the premium reductions, and maternity management will be offered to pregnant employees.

Employees can track the progress toward their goals through their Rally Portal. Outcomes are reviewed through Dec. 15.

Alsup says the wellness programs have grown substantially since being implemented, and the future for wellness looks bright. The goal is to reach 50 percent participation in the “Rally” program by the end of 2019, and it was at 40 percent as of Labor Day.

“They are definitely worthwhile. For your health and your pocketbook,” she adds. “We are considering programs that will involve families and spouses, to maintain their wellness. We are constantly looking to update and give people what they need to be healthier.”

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