Green Shield Canada Introduces a First for Canadians - Rewards for Good Health Behaviour

May 26, 2015, 08:30 ET from Green Shield Canada

TORONTO, May 26, 2015 /CNW/ - Canadians will now be rewarded for good health behaviour through Green Shield Canada's (GSC) Change4Life™ health portal, a first in the country. The online health management site not only supports and encourages healthy behaviours, it will reward them. This marks the first time a Canadian health benefits provider will attempt to positively influence Canadian employees' health behaviour through incentives and rewards.

Founded on behavioural economics (the science of how people make – and don't make – rational choices), the portal incorporates a points-and-rewards program that nudges Canadian employees to take small, achievable steps towards better health in exchange for points. Those points can then be used to win a variety of rewards including gift cards from major retailers such as Sport Chek and Sobeys.

The Change4Life portal is now available to all of GSC's plan members, free of charge. They will be encouraged to complete a health risk assessment (HRA) to produce a personal health score. They will then be directed to online tools, resources and health education tailored to their specific needs. The tools include a step tracker, monitoring of blood pressure and cholesterol, and medication reminders.

The Change4Life health portal is a key part of GSC's effort to shift the benefits industry's focus towards addressing one of the biggest issues facing the health of Canadians today – chronic disease. Research has shown that chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes and cholesterol can improve significantly when patients improve their health behaviour.

"We have been spending much of our time on rethinking employee health benefit plans in light of the emerging health challenges of Canadians," says Peter Gove, GSC's Innovation Leader for Health Management. "Our research indicates that our focus should be on engaging plan members in the effective management of their own health. Because the keys to changing behaviours include ease of access to resources and reinforcement of positive change, we know that Change4Life can make a significant contribution."

About Green Shield Canada

Green Shield Canada is a benefits specialist. It's what they do. But as Canada's only national not-for-profit health and dental specialist, their reason for being is the enhancement of the common good. Green Shield Canada seeks out innovative ways to improve access to better health for Canadians. From coast-to-coast, their service delivery includes drug, dental, extended health care, vision, hospital and travel benefits for groups and individuals, as well as administration services. Supported by cost containment strategies, advanced technology and exceptional customer service, they create customized programs for over one and a half million plan participants nation-wide.

SOURCE Green Shield Canada