AmeriHealth New Jersey, a New Jersey-based health care insurance carrier with offices in Iselin and Mt. Laurel, has launched AmeriHealth Healthy LifestylesSM Rewards, a new wellness incentive program that links healthy employee behaviors directly to the accruement of Health Reimbursement Account (HRA) credits. HRAs are IRS-sanctioned arrangements that allow an employer to contribute funds on an employeeÂ™s behalf. The funds can be applied to medical expenses paid by participating employees.
The new program comprises three core elements: an HRA, a point of service (POS) or preferred provider organization (PPO) medical plan with deductible and coinsurance options when using network providers and, notably, an incentive program that provides HRA credits for healthy behavior.
The result is an integrated solution for health-conscious employers who see the value of providing incentives that encourage employees to engage in healthy behaviors. By earning credits toward their HRAs, employees will see a direct relationship between their healthy behaviors and reduced health care expenses. At a time when only three out of five employers can afford to provide health care for their employees and families, there is high demand for solutions that drive healthy behaviors and drive down costs.
AmeriHealth believes that members and their employers should benefit financially as well as physically from engaging in healthy behaviors, said Michael Munoz, vice president, sales and marketing. We believe the most effective way to do that Â“ and the best way to encourage ongoing wellness Â“ is for desirable behaviors to reduce health care expenses. When members engage in pre-determined healthy activities (as outlined in the companyÂ™s health plan), they gain insight into wellness, take control of their health care and as a result receive employer-funded credits directly to their HRAs, which are used to which are then used to offset out-of-pocket expenses related to the medical plan (i.e. deductibles and coinsurance). Employers, meanwhile, can realize short- and long-term cost savings by helping their employees identify and manage disease.
Program incentives are available to all plan enrollees. Activities eligible for HRA credits include:
The U.S. Department of Health Services has shown that wellness programs have median return on investment of more than $3 for each $1 spent. And, one of the most effective ways to encourage healthy behavior is through incentive programs like these. Studies have also shown that well-designed health management programs can reduce sick leave by an average of 28 percent, disability costs by 30 percent and health care costs by 26 percent.
AmeriHealth is launching this program in conjunction with IncentOne, which provides incentive programs to employers, health plans and partners. In addition to benefitting from IncentOneÂ™s expertise in healthcare reward programs, this integrated solution will provide employers and employees with an easily administered web-based program. No paper submissions are required. Participants can view program eligibility and reward status via a dedicated website.
AmeriHealth New Jersey provides health care coverage to nearly 230,000 New Jersey residents. The company’s contracted hospital and physician network includes thousands of physicians at 76 hospitals throughout its service area.
AmeriHealth New Jersey has offices in Mt. Laurel and Iselin. The company’s managed care plan, AmeriHealth HMO Inc. of New Jersey, has received the highest possible accreditation by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) by meeting NCQA’s rigorous evaluation standards. AmeriHealth New Jersey is part of AmeriHealth, Inc, a growing group of insurance and health care companies whose product portfolio includes health insurance, workers’ compensation, property and casualty insurance, and management services. For more information on AmeriHealth, visit our website at www.amerihealth.com.
IncentOne provides integrated incentive solutions to employers, health plans and partners, from small businesses to the FORTUNEÂ® 500, including half of the FORTUNEÂ® 50. IncentOneÂ™s incentive technology solutions provide the tools to drive health care cost reduction and productivity improvement. Read its recent issue brief, The Art and Science of Health Incentives, at www.IncentOne.com/IssueBrief. For more information, please visit www.IncentOne.com.
Healthy Lifestyles Rewards is a registered service mark of AmeriHealth New Jersey.
Phil Mann, 212-207-9232