Mar 14, 2019

Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island introduces Wellness Premium Rewards program

Rhode Island small businesses can earn as much as 8 percent back on medical premium by engaging employees in wellness activities

PROVIDENCE, RI  — Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI) has launched Wellness Premium Rewards, a program that allows employers – with fewer than 50 employees – to earn back up to 8 percent of their total annual medical premium. The innovative program, which is the first of its kind in the state, bases rewards on employee engagement in wellness activities.

“Most adults spend the majority of their day in the workplace, making it the best place to implement a culture of wellness, which  - beyond the obvious health benefits - can help with productivity, morale and employee retention and recruitment, “ said George Tager, BCBSRI director of employer segment sales and broker relations. “Rhode Island small businesses employ more than 225,000 workers, which is more than half of the state’s workforce. Whether you have five employees or 500, business owners should have the tools and resources necessary to support and encourage the health and wellness of their workforce.”

BCBSRI introduced Wellness Premium Rewards as a way to help small businesses with their healthcare costs, but also to make it easier, and rewarding, to engage employees in wellness activities that not only deliver better health, but cost savings, too.

Wellness Premium Rewards is powered by the Virgin Pulse digital wellness platform. In 2016, BCBSRI became the first insurer to partner with Virgin Pulse, a digital health, wellbeing and engagement company headquartered in Rhode Island. The Virgin Pulse platform allows employees to participate in wellness activities like tracking steps and other fitness activities, learning health and wellness tips or scheduling screenings. Employees who participate in the program can earn up to $200 in rewards.

One local company finding success with the Wellness Premium Rewards program is London Health Administrators, headquartered in East Providence. According to Christopher Cote, managing director at London Health Administrators, the top priority of his company is to be able to provide the best health plan for employees, which can be difficult because of rising healthcare costs.

“We saw the Blue Cross Wellness Premium Rewards program as an answer to this obstacle. Not only are we able to control our premiums for next year, we are also able to incentivize our employees to be more engaged participants in the Virgin Pulse wellness platform,” said Cote. “At London Health, we feel we are now in more control of our health care costs, while at the same time rewarding our employees for their participation in healthy activities.”

All Rhode Island small employers with a 2019 BCBSRI health plan are automatically enrolled in the rewards program. A typical 25-employee company could earn as much as $25,000 in rewards each year. Earning rewards is simple -- employees complete wellness activities and accumulate points using the Virgin Pulse® wellness app or website. They can do this using a connected wearable device, going to their annual well visit, completing a health assessment, tracking wellness goals or reading daily health-related facts.

To learn more about BCBSRI’s Wellness Premium Rewards program, please visit or call 401-459-1000, ext. 6064.

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