SOURCE: Health Behavior Innovations

Health Behavior Innovations

September 21, 2010 11:30 ET

Accountability-Based Wellness Saves Money, Improves Health

Health Behavior Innovations Approach Engages Employees and Achieves Measurable Results

SALT LAKE CITY, UT--(Marketwire - September 21, 2010) -  What if health insurance was like auto insurance and "safe drivers" were eligible for discounts on their health care coverage? Now, because of new federal guidelines, "safe drivers," or those who engage in taking better care of their health, can be rewarded with lower health insurance premiums.

A growing number of organizations are offering accountability-based wellness programs to their employees, rewarding those who participate by engaging in the improvement of their health, while employees who don't participate continue to pay higher health premiums. Employers are finding that not only is the average employee showing improvements in measurable health indicators, but the wellness program adds no extra cost to the employer or the participating employee.

Health Behavior Innovations (HBI) is the founder of accountability-based wellness programs. According to CEO Darrell Moon, HBI's innovative wellness program, the Apple Program®, has involved tens of thousands of participants, with more than 75 percent of eligible employees participating (including their spouses) with a customer satisfaction rating of more than 85 percent. With the new federal guidelines, companies can now design benefits programs that assist, support and engage participants differently according to their willingness to take accountability for their health. That's where the Apple Program excels.

"Accountability makes the program work," Moon said. "If you participate, you save money and generally become healthier. If you choose not to participate, you pay more. The whole thing works because those employees who opt in are not only saving money but they are losing weight, reducing blood pressure and generally enjoying healthier lives. And employers have a healthier workforce with no added cost to the company."

Over the past five years, HBI's total average biometric health scores per at-risk person have improved every year. For example:

  • Blood pressure -- Systolic pressure (while heart is contracting) dropped 5.9 mmHg each year, and diastolic pressure (heart resting) fell 3.7 mmHg each year.
  • Glucose -- declined 8.9 mg/dL each year.
  • Triglycerides -- fell 19 mg/dL each year.
  • Total cholesterol -- dropped 11 mg/dL each year.
  • Bad cholesterol -- declined 8.8 mg/dL each year.

In terms of body weight, according to AmericasHealthRankings.org the average American gains weight each year. In contrast, the average obese Apple Program participant loses weight each year. This represents a more than 300 percent difference in weight change between the average American and the average obese Apple participant.

The Apple Program doesn't rely on financial incentives alone to help employees make lifestyle changes. The key to success is the personalized assistance each person receives from a dedicated health coach and having their progress tracked via an advanced Web portal.

"Bottom line: when employees choose to be engaged they see results and so do employers," Moon said. "HBI is identifying the health care safe drivers and helping those who aren't to become health care safe drivers, without raising costs."

For more information about Health Behavior Innovations and the Apple Program, visit www.healthbehaviorinnovations.com and www.theappleprogram.com.

Contact Information

  • Press Contacts:
    Judi Harrison
    Health Behavior Innovations
    (801) 266-0990
    Email Contact

    Kevan Barney
    The Summit Group
    (801) 990-1191
    Email Contact