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Health insurance firm pays employees to get healthy

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in Compensation and Benefits,Human Resources

As employees of EmblemHealth get healthy, they get a little bit richer, too. Last year, the New York-based health insurance company handed out cash rewards ranging from $375 to $750 to more than 1,000 of its 5,000 employees. It rewarded activities like taking online classes, participating in fitness challenges and working with wellness coaches.

The company’s results-oriented “myHealth PATH” program also offers cash rewards for healthy behaviors like having “well visits” with doctors, getting tests and screenings, joining a gym and participating in workplace walks.

Almost two-thirds of the participants claim the program helped them significantly alter their behavior. In addition, 60% said the program eased their stress levels; 35% said it helped alleviate symptoms of depression.

EmblemHealth officials have said their wellness incentives translate into short- and long-term cost savings, improve retention and help employees adopt healthy lifestyles and feel better.

Dr. William Gillespie, EmblemHealth’s chief medical officer, said participants are more likely to complete preventive health screenings like mammograms and take advantage of preventive and outpatient health services.

Contact: Pat Smith at EmblemHealth, (212) 843-8026.

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