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

TAMPA, Fla. (Dec. 13, 2011) – UnitedHealthcare is now offering Florida employers SimplyEngaged Plus, 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 four different health benchmarks can earn up to $250 for each of the categories. Individuals unable to meet any of the health measures can still receive the full incentive by participating in telephonic wellness coaching. The four health measures are:

  • 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

The program's health targets are based on measures recommended and used by the National Institutes of Health. 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.

SimplyEngaged Plus builds on the ongoing SimplyEngaged program that 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 play a greater role in ensuring their personal health and wellness," said Nanci Cole Odom, vice president of human resources, AAA Auto Club South Inc. "In certain instances, it is also enabling them to identify health issues early enough to proactively address them. The program is helping to create a healthier, satisfied and more productive workforce, and we are excited that UnitedHealthcare is now offering this advanced wellness program in Florida that also rewards employees for achieving specific health target levels."

SimplyEngaged Plus, available to Florida 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.

"We are helping smaller and medium-sized businesses in Florida with practical, positive ways to promote healthier lifestyles among their employees," said David Lewis, CEO, UnitedHealthcare Employer and Individual of Central and North Florida. "By connecting specific actions with financial incentives through SimplyEngaged Plus, employees can have a healthier lifestyle and employers a more productive workforce 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.