ST. LOUIS, Oct. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Rising health care costs are prompting many employers to seek new health benefits solutions that will encourage healthier behaviors in their employees. In response to customers' needs, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is introducing a new product designed to increase engagement in health and wellness activities, resulting in healthier and more productive employees.
Known as Anthem Health Rewards, the product enables Anthem customers to provide their employees with a variety of rewards - for example, gift cards, premium contribution discounts and account deposits - when they complete a health risk assessment and/or participate in health and wellness programs offered by Anthem, such as Future Moms and care management programs for people living with chronic conditions such as diabetes.
"Incentives are powerful and effective motivators that can positively influence behaviors," said Dennis Matheis, president of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Missouri. "Our clients have asked for incentives to encourage their employees to adopt healthier lifestyles and participate in our wellness and care management programs. Anthem Health Rewards is just another example of our commitment to meet the needs of our customers and to seek out innovative ways to address rising health care costs."
The products will be available to self-insured employers in Missouri effective Jan. 1, 2011.
Today's consumer is looking for plans that include proactive care management and wellness programs, helping them get the most out of their benefits. "Consumers are searching for plans that do more than just pay their medical bills. They're looking for insurance plans that help them navigate the health care system and manage chronic conditions, provide more value for money, and help them stay healthy in the long run through innovative wellness programs," Matheis said.
"We all know that health care costs are rising, due in part to lifestyle choices. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said that about 75 percent of health care costs are driven by lifestyle-related chronic illnesses such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes and arthritis," said Randy Brown, executive vice president of human resources for Anthem's parent company, which also offers Anthem Health Rewards as part its health plan offerings. "We know that individuals who are personally accountable and engage in healthy behaviors reap the benefits of better health."
Applying the principles of behavioral economics, Anthem will consult with employers to devise a strategy that best meets their objectives. Employers will have the flexibility to create a program that is targeted specifically to their employee base, or they can choose a program that is longitudinal in design. Anthem also provides online wellness programs focused on weight management, nutrition, exercise, stress management, insomnia and smoking cessation. These online programs offer customers lower-cost ways of promoting health and wellness.
About Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Missouri
In Missouri (excluding 30 counties in the Kansas City area) Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is the trade name for RightCHOICE® Managed Care, Inc. (RIT), Healthy Alliance® Life Insurance Company (HALIC), and HMO Missouri, Inc. RIT and certain affiliates administer non-HMO benefits underwritten by HALIC and HMO benefits underwritten by HMO Missouri, Inc. RIT and certain affiliates only provide administrative services for self-funded plans and do not underwrite benefits. Independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. ®ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. Additional information about Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Missouri is available at www.anthem.com
SOURCE Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Missouri