It has become apparent in the last ten years or so that making healthy choices results in overall good health. Perhaps Benjamin Franklin said it best back in the eighteenth century when he professed, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." In general, Americans strayed away from that old adage as the conveniences of modern-day fast food and processed goods took over. Somehow, we've ended up back where we began. More people are realizing the benefits of staying healthy to prevent illness and injury and to temper the high costs of healthcare. Many industries are jumping on board by rewarding customers for making healthy choices. Health insurance and credit card companies are among those offering customer rewards.
BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina is hoping to lower medical costs by keeping employees healthy through lifestyle choices. Wellness programs have been proven to lower disability claims and improve productivity, employee attendance, and workplace atmosphere. Healthy lifestyle incentives will most likely lead to greater job satisfaction for employees and savings on insurance premiums for their companies. Employees must exercise at least 30 minutes a day and eat five servings of fruits and vegetables to earn points. Rewards associated with the Blue Points program include brand-name merchandise, gift cards, charitable items, and more.
Humana Medical Plan members can take part in Vitality, a program that rewards healthy choices. Vitality members set personal wellness goals and receive individualized suggestions to improve overall health. Members earn Vitality Bucks, which can be redeemed for treats, such as movie tickets and events, hotel stays, and merchandise, for their healthy choices.
Peach State Health Plan
Georgia's Peach State Health Plan offers incentives to expectant mothers. Pregnant women can enroll in the Start Smart for Your Baby program and earn up to $45 for attending all necessary prenatal and postpartum appointments. After giving birth, mothers can keep earning cash by bringing their newborns to all their necessary medical checkups. The reward money is used for co-pays, eyeglasses, family planning costs, dental expenses, and more.
In Indiana, members of Hoosier Healthwise can participate in the wellness program MDWise. Members earn rewards for paying monthly contributions on time, attending necessary annual examinations, receiving a health-risk screening evaluation, bringing children to annual well-child appointments, and attending all prenatal and postpartum appointments. Rewards include gift cards to Subway, AMC Movies, CVS, Walmart, Kroger Grocery, and other businesses.
The CIGNA Healthy Rewards program rewards members for living a healthy lifestyle if they use participating providers. CIGNA makes it easy to use the program by allowing members to use their Healthy Rewards cards anytime except toward co-payments and co-insurance payments. The plan is designed as an added benefit to existing CIGNA health plans. Members use their Healthy Rewards cards to save on programs for weight management, fitness, smoking cessation, and mind-body awareness , vision appointments, vitamins and other wellness products, dental care, and alternative medical treatments. The options for using the Healthy Rewards card are broad.
Credit Card Rewards
Many credit card companies also offer rewards for healthy choices. Capital One credit card holders earn cash back on fitness training at the nationally recognized chain Fitness Together and at select Curves locations throughout the United States. They earn discounts on golf equipment at Golfsmith.com and get cash back from Puma.com. The Pilates Movement, in Denver, CO, also offers additional cash-back rewards for Capital One card holders.
Discover card holders also earn cash-back bonuses by shopping online at ShopDiscover.com. The website offers fitness brands such as Nike, Under Armour, and Sports Authority. It makes sense to buy these items online and earn some extra cash rather than buy them at stores.
American Express customers earn membership reward points to use toward fitness accessories and equipment such as heart-rate monitors, balance balls, treadmills, and exercise bikes. SpaFinder and Red Door Spas work in conjunction with American Express to offer discounts on gift cards. American Express ZYNC holders can add a spa- or fitness-pack plan to their cards for a small annual fee. The fitness pack provides percentage-off rewards for health and fitness membership fees and Weight Watchers Online, a step-by-step customized weight loss plan. With the spa pack, members save money on gift certificates, products, and services at SpaFinder.com, SpaWish.com, and Spalook.com.
Jessica Bosari is a freelance writer and blogger for various publications and her own telecommute writing jobs blog. You can read more of Jessica's work here. If you have any comments or questions about SavingTools or about saving money, leave your comments in the form below or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!