- UnitedHealthcare is now the third health insurance company to provide members with a program aimed at empowering them to choose better foods when they go shopping—and hopefully improve their health as a result. The Healthy Savings program, a partnership with Wisconsin-based Roundy's Supermarkets provides potential savings of more than $150 per month on prequalified foods.
- Humana has had a grocery program for three years called Humana Vitality, which it has improved since its launch. The company reports that 40% of their health plan members are enrolled in the program, through which members can use a card to save on qualified purchases at Wal-Mart stores.
- Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield also has a program that provides coupons to members for discounts on food and other household products. Members access the coupons via their accounts on Anthem.com and can print them out to utilize them at "more than 90%" of all major food store chains.
These programs illustrate the trend among insurers and employers to promote healthy living in an effort to improve members' health and impact the bottom line.
"Healthy Savings gives people the opportunity to make healthier food choices and improve their diets, which will make a tremendous difference in their health and well-being," Dustin Hinton, CEO of UnitedHealthcare of Wisconsin said in a prepared statement. "This new program now makes it easier and more affordable for Wisconsin families."
One of the keys to success to such a program is likely to be convenience; the Healthy Savings program promotes the fact that it doesn't require any printing of coupons. The program website featured each week's discounted items and shows where to find the closest participating stores, as well as other related health and shopping information.
"Over the past 18 months, we have watched the program help break down the barrier of the high cost of healthier food and have achieved industry-leading engagement rates," said Chad Kelly, general manager of Healthy Savings. "We look forward to working with UnitedHealthcare to help even more people eat healthier."