Employers who offer Grand Rapids-based Priority Health’s hybrid health plans featuring wellness incentives have saved up to 12 percent in claims cost, or an average of $60 per month, according to a five-year analysis by the health plan.
“Employers are taking a greater interest in the well-being of their employees, and for good reason,” says Marti Lolli, senior vice president of commercial products at Priority Health. “Healthier employees mean lower cost and less absenteeism. The HealthbyChoice plans are creating the return on investment employers are looking for in their workplace wellness programs.”
Lolli says in the study, Priority Health identified the impact of the plan in two areas: chronic conditions and cost. The study compared nine employer groups with the plan to nine groups without the plan, representing nearly 9,000 members. Employers with the plan saved about $1.2 million over four years.
Lolli says the study also showed a reduction in the development of chronic conditions and disease. Employees at companies with the plan were nearly 30 percent less likely to have chronic lung disease, diabetes, and ischemic heart disease.
More than 75 percent of the $2.8 trillion in national health care costs are due to chronic disease, such as coronary heart disease and type 2 diabetes, according to the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Nearly 60 percent of Michigan’s population suffers from one or more chronic conditions, says the Michigan Department of Community Health.
Priority Health is adding online support tools for its plan, including a tobacco cessation tool to help members quit smoking by setting goals and tracking progress, along with a quarterly health tracking opportunity for activity, nutrition, and stress management.