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ARTICLE Consumers Can Earn More Than $1,000 Through UnitedHealthcare's SimplyEngaged Plus Wellness Program

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Oct. 31, 2011) – UnitedHealthcare is now offering SimplyEngaged Plus to Tennessee employers, a new program that enables employees to earn more than $1,000 by participating in wellness programs and achieving recommended health levels.

SimplyEngaged Plus is an incentive-based wellness program that rewards individuals for healthy behaviors and completing specific health actions. The program is available with any UnitedHealthcare health plan that includes a health savings account (HSA) or health reimbursement account (HRA).

While incentive amounts vary based on an employer's benefits plan, employees achieving and maintaining the following four health benchmarks can earn up to $250 for each of the categories:

  • Total cholesterol – less than 200mg
  • Blood pressure – less than or equal to 130/80
  • Body Mass Index – less than or equal to 25
  • No nicotine use

Plan participants can also earn additional credits – each ranging from $25 to $75 – for taking specific health actions, such as completing health assessments and participating in online health coaching and telephonic wellness coaching activities. The SimplyEngaged Plus program is voluntary, and the financial rewards earned are directly deposited in the employees' HSA or HRA.

The program's health targets are based on measures recommended and used by the National Institutes of Health. Individuals unable to meet a health benchmark will have the ability to reach the full incentive by participating in telephonic wellness coaching.

UnitedHealthcare's SimplyEngaged Plus builds on the ongoing SimplyEngaged program which awards merchant gift cards for completing health assessments and participating in telephonic and online wellness coaching.

"UnitedHealthcare's SimplyEngaged wellness program is helping our employees become more aware of their health status and if necessary take action to improve their health. The program is helping to create a healthier, satisfied and more productive workforce," said Donna Locklear, human resources training & development manager, Lodge Manufacturing in South Pittsburg, Tenn. "We are excited that UnitedHealthcare is now offering a more advanced wellness program in Tennessee that takes it to the next level by also rewarding employees for achieving specific health target levels."

SimplyEngaged Plus, available to Tennessee businesses with 100 to 2,999 employees, was designed using the same model as UnitedHealthcare's Personal Rewards program for large employers. Launched in the fall of 2010, Personal Rewards is already nearing 1 million participants.

"It's important for more smaller and medium-sized businesses in Tennessee to be able to offer the same types of wellness incentives and resources that are commonly seen among large employers if we are truly going to promote healthier lifestyles among all people," said Greg Reidy, CEO, UnitedHealthcare Employer and Individual of Tennessee. "By connecting specific actions with financial incentives through SimplyEngaged Plus, we're confident we'll be able to motivate healthier behaviors over the long term."

Wellness programs that tie incentives to specific health actions are becoming more popular among employers. In 2011, 58 percent of employers were planning to offer cash, premium credits and/or account contributions to their employees as incentives to encourage participation in health and wellness activities, according to a survey by Towers Watson and the National Business Group on Health. About a third of employers surveyed also planned to implement an outcome-based wellness program in 2012.

About UnitedHealthcare
UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people nationwide live healthier lives by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. The company offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with more than 650,000 physicians and care professionals and 5,000 hospitals nationwide. UnitedHealthcare serves more than 38 million people and is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company.