Enhanced rewards program offers ways that may help members improve their health

Recent upgrades to UnitedHealthcare Rewards, including an “Earn it Off” Apple Watch offering and more ways for members to earn and redeem incentives.

Three Apple Watches depicting fitness screen

While almost 90% of employees have access to well-being programs through their employer, only 23% use them.1

The gap between access and utilization may be problematic for both employers and employees, especially because studies show that healthier employees are often more productive.2

That’s why UnitedHealthcare has enhanced and expanded the availability of UnitedHealthcare Rewards, a program that may enable eligible employees, including covered spouses, to earn up to $300. For employers that purchase a buy-up option, eligible members can earn up to $1,000 per year in financial incentives by completing the program’s various daily health goals and one-time activities.3 This may include completing a health survey or annual wellness exam, tracking 14 days of sleep and walking 5,000 or more steps each day. 

To help create a more connected experience through smart device compatibility

A growing body of research is indicating that smartwatches may be helpful in motivating healthy lifestyles. For instance, a study out of Penn State found that users were more motivated to become active when a smart device asked them to reflect on their activity levels.4

To help give employees access to this type of tool, one of the recent updates to UHC Rewards is the “Earn It Off” program, which enables eligible participants to obtain an Apple Watch for as little as $0 upfront cost and then use their rewards to help pay toward the total cost of the device.5

Other recent upgrades to UHC Rewards include the opportunity for participants to earn rewards for additional one-time preventive care activities, such as getting an annual wellness exam or a yearly flu shot, as well as to use their rewards to help cover monthly gym membership fees.7

Ways member can earn rewards today NEW ways members can earn rewards
  • Achieve 5,000 steps or more each day
  • Complete 15 minutes or more of activity per day
  • Track sleep for 14 nights
  • Complete weekly sleep and fitness challenges
  • Get a biometric screening
  • Complete a health survey
  • Complete an annual wellness exam
  • Get an annual flu shot
  • Complete a virtual care visit
Ways members can redeem rewards today NEW ways members can earn rewards
  • Deposits into a health savings account (HSA)
  • Deposits into a health reimbursement account (HRA)
  • Deposits into a prepaid debit card
  • To help pay toward the total cost of wearable devices5
  • To help cover fees associated with monthly gym membership fees7

Employees can use Apple Watch to help meet their daily activity goals and earn rewards. The financial rewards people earn through UHC Rewards can either be added to a prepaid debit card, deposited into a health savings account (HSA) or health reimbursement account (HRA) for members who want help covering out-of-pocket eligible medical costs, among other redemption options. Now employees can use their rewards toward the total cost of Apple Watch.5

To help encourage and incentivize preventive care

Since preventive care may lead employees to live healthier lives and be more productive at work, UnitedHealthcare is working to help encourage employees to take part in these types of activities.

In fact, research revealed that one or more primary care visits per year increased the likelihood of vaccination by 127%, colonoscopy by 122% and mammography by 75%.Preventive measures like seeing a primary care provider (PCP) and getting certain screenings may also lead to earlier detection of chronic conditions or other health issues, which may be associated with better health outcomes, lower costs and higher productivity.2

UHC Rewards incentivizes members to complete annual wellness exams that focus on preventive care.

“Nearly half of Millennials either have a chronic condition or are at risk of developing one. As the dominant part of the workforce, it’s critical that Millennials start engaging with their health — and employers can play an important role by providing wellness reward programs.” 

— Samantha Baker, Chief Consumer Officer, UnitedHealthcare Employer & Individual

“As we expand the availability of UnitedHealthcare Rewards to more members and employers, we will continue to invest in ways to help support the well-being of our members by incentivizing healthier activities, encouraging access to preventive care and making our plans more engaging,” Baker says.

Launched in 2023, UnitedHealthcare Rewards is now available to employers with two or more employees with fully insured plans nationwide at the start of their new plan year. Select self-funded customers will be able to purchase the program starting in 2024, with additional self-funded customers gaining the option by 2025. By the end of 2024, approximately 5 million UnitedHealthcare fully insured commercial members will have access to UHC Rewards.

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