The companies said Monday that their collaboration will integrate Walgreens Balance Rewards for healthy choices with UnitedHealthcare’s Reward Me to promote healthy behaviors. UnitedHealthcare plan participants in Arizona and Illinois can access the program via the Reward Me tab on UnitedHealthcare’s mobile app Health4Me and earn Walgreens Balance Rewards loyalty points by completing healthy activities such as daily exercise, eating fruit and vegetables, and logging sufficient sleep.
Walgreens Balance Rewards for healthy choices encourages simple steps, or “micro-habits,” that foster healthier behaviors. Health plans can define activities for their plan customers to earn Balance Rewards points to help them boost patient engagement, as well as HEDIS and 5-Star Medicare quality goals, the companies said.
Plans call for Walgreens Balance Rewards for healthy choices to be piloted with UnitedHealthcare fully insured health plan participants in Arizona and Illinois.
“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,” Adam Pellegrini, divisional vice president of digital health at Walgreens, said in a statement.
Walgreens and UnitedHealthcare noted that their collaboration is helping to meet the rising demand for meaningful rewards that are easy to access and redeem online and offline. The partnership also illustrates how health plans and employers are using incentives to drive healthy behaviors among employees and plan participants, the added. According to a study from the National Business Group on Health, the use of corporate wellness incentives has doubled since 2009, with employees earning $594 in incentives each year on average.
UnitedHealthcare’s Reward Me, available via the Health4Me mobile app, is a health-incentive initiative that enables plan participants to keep track of physical activity, healthy food selections and other lifestyle choices that promote well-being and earn discounts on products and services, including up to 50% off merchandise at a range of national and local retailers. Health4Me is available on iPhone and Android devices to UnitedHealthcare plan participants and all consumers nationwide.
“We have seen that rewarding healthy behavior can help people make sustained, positive behavior change,” stated Vidya Raman-Tangella, head of the Innovation Center of Excellence at UnitedHealthcare. “Our collaboration with Walgreens will play an important role in encouraging consumers to take a more active role in their overall health and well-being and realizing the promise of a truly activated, engaged and supported consumer.”