Since I discussed a “stick” approach my health insurance company began on January 1, 2012 by charging a higher premium for smokers than for non-smokers, I’d like to take the time to discuss a “carrot” incentive sponsored by them: a reward points program. And reward points mean free stuff!
I am with Blue Cross Blue Shield and take full advantage of their Blue Points Reward System. Every six months I take a health risk assessment online for 2500 points. During the week (when I remember), I record my eating habits and any exercise I have done. In return I am given calorie and fat counts and access to lots of great recipes. Since I started these activities in 2009, I have earned a total of 23,280 points. With these points I have gotten a free Starbucks gift card, a yoga mat shoulder holder, a 9” springform pan (to use in making cheesecakes, an admittedly unhealthy dessert), and two movie tickets to the theater near our home.
Many health insurance companies offer incentives for good health habits. In the long term this benefits the insurance company and the employer because they save money when the plan participants are healthier. Originally I wanted to research individual health insurance companies and provide a list of which ones have incentive programs. However, the research was very complicated; it appeared that even under one company of health insurance (Blue Cross Blue Shield for example) whether or not a rewards program was offered could differ among state, employer, etc. Some programs offer rewards points you could redeem for gift cards and items. A few programs even allow you to redeem reward points towards reduced co-payment costs. If you have health insurance, you might want to call your provider to find out if they offer something similar and ask how to enroll.
I would hate for you to miss out on free rewards!
Does your health insurance company offer a rewards program? Have you redeemed for anything yet?
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