SOURCE: Tangerine Wellness

February 21, 2007 09:00 ET

Tangerine Wellness Reduces Company's Waistlines and Health Claims

Company Lowers Healthcare Costs by 10 Percent and Achieves Five Times Return-on-Investment in First Year

BOSTON, MA and ROCKFORD, IL -- (MARKET WIRE) -- February 21, 2007 -- As companies across the country implement weight-management programs for their employees to cut healthcare costs, there has been little evidence that the measures are actually saving on healthcare claims and costs -- until now.

Six months ago, Rockford Acromatic, an Illinois-based manufacturing business for the automotive industry with 80 employees, was looking for a way to engage its workforce to help combat increasing workplace health claims and increase the value of its health plan to its employees. After extensively searching for ways to cut costs, the company chose to work with Tangerine Wellness, the leading weight-management program for employers, and the results have been remarkable.

"Conservatively thinking, Tangerine's program is saving Rockford Acromatic about 10 percent or a net $50-60,000 in healthcare costs per year, including the cost of the incentives and the program," said Jim Knutson, Risk Manager at Rockford Acromatic. "For a small company, this savings is major money. From a manufacturing company standpoint, if our net income is five percent of sales, that's like having an additional $1 million in sales."

Using Tangerine, employees earn cash and other rewards for losing weight. Employers lower healthcare costs and improve morale and productivity through Tangerine's customized, fully outsourced program that includes a suite of online and offline services.

"The obesity epidemic not only affects the health and wellness of individual Americans and their families, but also impacts the competitiveness and cost structure of corporations. The 10% reduction in healthcare costs at Rockford shows the effectiveness of the Tangerine program at containing spiraling healthcare costs," said former Senator Bill Bradley, Chairman of Tangerine's Advisory Board.

During the first quarter of Rockford's experience with Tangerine, 60 percent of the entire company participated in the Tangerine program. In the third quarter, that number has risen to over 80 percent. By offering cumulative rewards, and allowing participants to track their results online, Tangerine keeps the program interesting for its participants.

Tangerine aims to help employees lose weight and put cash back in their pockets. In the last three months, Rockford employees have received an average of over $25 in cash per participant, and have each lost an average of over 6 lbs pounds since Tangerine came on board six months ago. According to the company, the results have had a positive impact on healthcare claims.

"We are able to see the results not only in the health of our workforce, but also on the reduced cost of claims filed," said Jim Knutson, Risk Manager at Rockford. "Our workforce is healthier, more productive and we're saving dollars on the bottom line. Tangerine has really obtained buy-in from our employees -- we're seeing more and more people participate."

Corporations are spending exorbitant sums of money each year to pay for medical claims and lost productivity related to obesity and the costs continue to grow. Unfortunately, their efforts to reduce their costs by offering various exercise and diet regimes have done little to change employee behavior. Tangerine helps change that.

"Just multiply Rockford's results for a company with thousands of employees and probably millions in healthcare claims costs per year and the positive financial impact is astounding," said Aaron Day, CEO of Tangerine. "By providing incentives to lose weight and maintain it for the long term along with a platform that customizes the initiative to each participant's weight management needs, we're helping companies lower their healthcare costs. Rockford is a great example of that, as they are seeing the claims results."

Initially, 29 percent of Rockford's employees were at a healthy weight and 71 percent were overweight or obese. At the end of the second quarter of the Tangerine program, the percentage of employees at a healthy weight had increased to 36%. More than 90 percent of the participating Rockford employees commented in a survey that Tangerine helped improve their health and over 80 percent cited the incentives as a significant motivator.

The program has been so successful that Rockford is launching it for another full year.

"The Tangerine program is successful in helping companies save money because it is faster, cheaper, and better than traditional prescriptive approaches that treat obesity as a disease," said Day. "Tangerine changes an employee's behavior, which results in better health and fewer claims in both the short and long term."

For more information on Tangerine Wellness's programs, please call (617) 248-8990 or visit

About Tangerine Wellness

Founded in 2004, Tangerine Wellness is the leading corporate weight-management program that directly rewards employees for losing weight and for maintaining a healthy weight. Tangerine's interactive weight-loss program has a direct and positive effect on employee healthcare costs, morale and productivity. Tangerine has successfully implemented programs in the manufacturing, financial services, healthcare and government/university entities that are translating into direct healthcare cost-savings. The company's collective leadership includes Sen. Bill Bradley and top executives with expertise in corporate wellness, healthcare and benefits administration. Tangerine is headquartered in Boston, with offices in Chicago, Houston and New York.

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