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UnitedHealthcare, WBA pilot mobile rewards

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DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. and UnitedHealthcare have partnered in a pilot program to integrate Walgreens Balance Rewards for healthy choices with UnitedHealthcare’s mobile app, Health4Me.

Through the collaboration people enrolled in UnitedHealthcare’s fully insured plans in Arizona and Illinois can earn Balance Rewards points for completing certain healthy activities, with the opportunity to redeem points and save on purchases at Walgreens stores or online.

UnitedHealthcare enrollees in the two states designated can access the program via the Reward Me tab on the Health4Me app. The healthy activities that earn points include daily exercise, eating fruits and vegetables, and logging sufficient sleep.

“Through our Balance Rewards for healthy choices initiative, Walgreens encourages participants to adopt simple steps that can positively affect a person’s health, and collaborating with leading health plans such as UnitedHealthcare can further enhance the reach and impact of these programs,” says Adam Pellegrini, divisional vice president of digital health at Walgreens.

According to Walgreens, Balance Rewards for healthy choices is a first-of-its-kind program that encourages simple steps, or “micro habits,” that have the potential to lead to a healthier life.

Health plans can define activities for their enrollees to earn Balance Rewards points and help the plans meet higher patient engagement objectives as well as the Five Star quality goals established by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set performance ­measures.

The use of corporate wellness incentives has doubled since 2009, with employees earning an average of $594 annually in incentives, according to a recent study from the National Business Group on Health. The Walgreens/UnitedHealthcare pilot program is an effort to meet that growing demand for meaningful rewards that are easy to access and redeem, both online and ­off-line.

“We have seen that rewarding healthy behavior can help people make sustained, positive behavior change,” says Vidya Raman-Tangella, head of the Innovation Center of Excellence for UnitedHealthcare.


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