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Employers Use Scoring Models as Part of Wellness Plans

From the National Business Coalition on Health: According to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, the future of employee wellness programs may be an individual health score, much like a consumer has a credit score.

Allina Health of Minneapolis is among a growing number of employers using employee health scoring models, such as myHealthCheck and HealthCheck360°. The programs work by rating each employee based on health screening data. At Allina, employees who score high on myHealthCheck can get up to $1,690 to put toward health insurance premiums.

The idea behind health scoring is not to be punitive, and the scoring is designed to be fair and take into account factors that are within an individual's control. A person with a score of more than 90 is very fit, with blood pressure that is controlled, a low percentage of body fat and no evidence of smoking. As he could not really do much better, a financial incentive on health insurance premiums is earned just by staying at an upper level.

Those who cannot reach the top tier can still earn an incentive by improving. Even someone with a score of 40, not very healthy, can earn incentives by moving to 45 the next year. A much smaller group of people with a chronic health condition, or perhaps a genetic predisposition to disease, may never get a high score. They can still earn the full incentive by showing they comply with doctors' recommendations on care.

This initial work on employee incentives could have far reaching implications for value-based insurance design. Simply gathering data about what motivates employees to stay or get healthy is valuable.

Posted by Cristie Travis at 7:58 AM

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