Jun 17, 2021

The true value of wellness programs

Wellness programs can play an important role in helping your clients’ employees manage their physical and emotional well-being—which, in turn, can improve their quality of life, reduce risk factors for certain health conditions, and can lower your clients’ overall healthcare costs over time.

Extra weight and inactivity, for example, can put an individual at a higher risk for heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes—and yet, nearly one-third of U.S. adults over the age of 50 get no physical activity outside of work, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In addition, research has shown that physical activity, especially in mid-life, is critical to preserving good heart and brain health over time. By motivating and rewarding positive efforts, wellness programs help members build healthy habits—like regular exercise—that can deliver meaningful short- and long-term health benefits.

A comprehensive approach for fully insured clients

Physical activity is essential; however, a comprehensive wellness program will take a more holistic approach. For fully insured clients, the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI) wellness program addresses all facets of physical and emotional health—including managing stress, improving sleep, and building resilience. Using the intuitive Virgin Pulse® wellness platform, the program enables members to access tools and services online or on their phone, such as:

  • Healthy habits tracker – Members can log workouts, eating habits, sleep time, and more
  • Journeys – Self-guided courses help members set and reach personal health goals
  • Whil – Members can develop a mindfulness and meditation practice
  • Challenges – Members can join or create a challenge focused on a specific health or wellness activity
  • Nutrition and sleep guides – Members can set personal goals and track progress toward better eating habits and more restorative sleep

Depending on their employers’ specific program, BCBSRI members can earn rewards based on their accumulated wellness points. In addition, if their company participates in Wellness Premium Reward, that employer could earn an annual payout based on their employees’ cumulative wellness earnings.

Even the best wellness program, however, needs support to be successful. To help your clients maximize the value of Wellness Premium Reward—without adding to their workload—the BCBSRI employer toolkit offers ready-to-use resources to help engage and motivate employees.

Customized strategies for self-insured clients

For self-insured clients, BCBSRI wellness consultants can craft strategies that address varied employee work environments—offices, manufacturing floors, or retail spaces, for example—and specific employee health concerns, such as diabetes or hypertension. Wellness programs can be integrated with clinical care models to help identify and support at-risk employees and monitor overall healthcare cost trends.

For more information about Wellness Premium Reward or custom wellness solutions, contact your BCBSRI sales representative.

Virgin Pulse is an independent wellness company, contracted by Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island to provide wellness services.

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