Seeing the success of the wellness program, BlueCross expands it

Wellness programs, especially those designed for employees, have not always proven to be truly beneficial. But BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina says the members it serves have had enough success with its personalized health and wellness program that it expanded the program earlier this month include mental health and musculoskeletal services.

BlueCross worked with Solera Health, which built a personalized healthcare platform and offers select condition management programs to employees of fully insured employer groups on behalf of BlueCross. The insurer and Phoenix-based Solera launched the My Health Novel wellness program in January 2021. The first “chapter” focused on healthy weight management, diabetes prevention and behavioral counseling.

About 1,500 members who participated in the weight loss program lost 5% of their body weight, said Kasey How, director of product and marketing communications at BlueCross, during a Zoom call last week.

“Members who participated for at least 26 weeks lost an average of 9% of their body weight,” How said.

This weight loss also helped 1 in 5 employees enrolled in the wellness program more than halve their risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to BlueCross.

How has BlueCross received positive feedback from employees and employers who only pay for the wellness program if employees participate; and she said they were. Ninety-three percent were matched with online programs tailored to their specific needs. Of those who participated, 84% said the program increased their satisfaction with BlueCross, according to the company.

My Health Novel’s new services now include those offered by companies like eMindful, Headspace and Ginger for mental and behavioral health. Members can access these platforms for help with stress, anxiety and depression as well as other mental health issues.

Employees who want to be proactive in dealing with joint pain caused by arthritis or other musculoskeletal issues also have options. My Health Novel now connects members to Hinge Health, Kaia Health and sworkit for ongoing advice and support to deal with musculoskeletal issues, such as help develop and follow a home physiotherapy program.

Network partners were chosen by Solera after an extensive vetting process to ensure they meet its high standards for efficiency and customer satisfaction, according to the company. How is it said that the different companies were chosen for the platform to meet the different levels of need of the members.

BlueCross isn’t alone in offering personalized wellness programs. Other insurers are increasingly doing the same thing. For instance, UnitedHealthcare supports a number of corporate wellness programs, including custom programs offered by Health Rallyand Aetna offers over 70 wellness programs.

With medical care, people “expect it to be highly personalized and transparent, and health insurance is no different,” How said.

Photo: fcafotodigital, Getty Images

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