Eating Healthy Pays Off: BlueShield Unveils HealthyLife Rewards

Program educates and incentivizes shoppers to purchase healthy foods

Mar 07, 2016, 11:21 ET from BlueShield of Northeastern New York

LATHAM, N.Y., March 7, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- BlueShield of Northeastern New York unveils HealthyLife Rewards, a digital nutrition program powered by NutriSavings that provides educational tools and incentives to more than 50,000 subscriber households in the Capital Region.

HealthyLife Rewards offers BlueShield subscribers and their families a potential $500 in annual cash back rewards for purchasing healthy foods at grocery stores, including local chains Hannaford Supermarkets and Price Chopper and its Market 32 Supermarkets.

The program is simple: Food items are scored based on their nutritional value and an average score for each shopping trip is calculated. At any time, individuals can deposit their rewards into their checking account or redeem as cash. 

Members also have access to a database of resources, including healthy recipes, articles and tips, and news on the latest nutrition science to help them make healthy decisions. Over time, members can look back on their shopping score history to review and improve healthy shopping habits.

"As a community-based health plan, we know that you need proactive tools and supportive environments to change behavior," said Kirk Panneton, MD, Regional Executive and Medical Director at BlueShield. "HealthyLife Rewards encourages shoppers to select healthy foods and rewards them for making sure those items end up in their shopping cart."

BlueShield commercial subscribers can register online (https://order.nutrisavings.com/Login) or on a convenient mobile app (NutriSavings). Once registered, participants are prompted to load the shopper loyalty program of the grocery stores of their choice to take advantage of the rewards on various healthy foods, eligible at over 12,000 grocery store partners nationwide.

How HealthyLife Rewards works:

  1. Sign-up and enter your shopper loyalty card information;
  2. Select offers on food you want to purchase online or on the NutriSavings app;
  3. Scan your loyalty card upon checkout to earn cash back savings in your HealthyLife Rewards account.

When selecting products, members can also scan their barcodes using the NutriSavings mobile app to receive nutrition education and healthier alternative recommendations.

HealthyLife Rewards was rolled out as a pilot to BlueShield employees – who found it highly useful -- this past fall and is now available to BlueShield commercial subscribers. 

In the first four months of the pilot program, 44 percent of BlueShield's eligible employees have engaged in this innovative wellness program logging more than 720 shopping trips; 32 percent of those shopping trips were recognized as healthy, according to the nutritional value scores associated with the items purchased.    

HealthyLife Rewards is powered by NutriSavings, a Massachusetts-based company whose mission is to improve the health of the U.S. workforce and reduce the rising costs of health care through better nutrition.

"Our mission is to introduce and track population behavior modification and promote consumption of nutritious food. We accomplish our mission by providing relevant and personalized education to help members make informed grocery decisions, along with discounts to make healthy food more affordable. HealthyLife Rewards shares our mission in making its subscribers and families healthy," said Niraj Jetly, Chief Operating Officer and CIO at NutriSavings.

A number of major supermarkets are actively participating in this program, including Hannaford Supermarkets, and Price Chopper and its Market 32 Supermarkets.  Discussions are currently ongoing with additional local and regional supermarket chains. 

"Hannaford is celebrating the 10th Anniversary of Guiding Stars, which identifies good, better and best nutritious choices on our shelves and on our Hannaford brand products," said Julie Greene, manager of Healthy Living for Hannaford. "HealthyLife Rewards, combined with information sources like our in-store registered dieticians offering free classes and help gluten-free, weight management, and other topics, and the credible resource of Guiding Stars, give shoppers tools to meet their needs and live healthier. This initiative connects well with Hannaford's long, proud history of helping consumers with fresh, nutritious products and credible information sources."

"When Price Chopper became the first supermarket in the nation to introduce the NuVal® Nutritional Scoring System, in 2009, we were hopeful that it would soon become accessible to consumers across the nation," said Mona Golub, Vice President of Public Relations & Consumer Services for the progressive 136-store chain. "By bolstering the combined efforts of product manufacturers, supermarkets and health-care providers with online and mobile app access to rewards and incentives, NuVal scores, recipes and tips, NutriSavings has effectively strengthened the network of support for BlueShield subscribers in this region who aspire to make healthy choices."

To learn more about how the program works, BlueShield subscribers can visit the BlueShield website at www.bsneny.com/healthyliferewards and are welcome to call NutriSavings Customer Service at 1-800-344-3593 with any questions.

About BlueShield of Northeastern New York:

BlueShield of Northeastern New York is a division of HealthNow New York Inc., one of New York's leading health care companies that provides access to quality health care and innovative solutions for members throughout upstate New York. Headquartered in Buffalo, NY, the company is an independent Licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association. Since 1946, BlueShield has helped millions of people lead healthier lives. Today, we offer a full range of insured, self-insured, and government programs and services covering businesses, families, and individuals, as well as life and disability coverage, dental and vision plans and stop-loss coverage. The company contributes significantly to organizations that promote physical health, community health and our region's health.  BlueShield believes in taking small steps towards healthier living because - Healthy Changes Everything®. For more information visit www.bsneny.com.

About NutriSavings: 

NutriSavings is an online ecosystem where employers, health plans, food and beverage companies, and produce growers join forces to educate the employees and their families on proper nutrition, while helping to reduce the enormous costs associated with obesity and chronic illnesses. The NutriSavings program is the first measurable nutrition benefit solution that is designed to change shopping behavior and incentivize healthy food purchases by rewarding members for their healthy purchases. For more information, please contact info@nutrisavings.com, or visit www.nutrisavings.com.

Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160307/340986

 

SOURCE BlueShield of Northeastern New York



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