Many health insurance companies are now putting a greater emphasis on maintaining good health and preventative medicine rather than treatment of chronic issues.
In order to encourage people to lead a healthier lifestyle, these companies often offer discounts or incentive programs.
For example, my Blue Cross Blue Shield plan (in Minnesota) offers monthly $20 discounts on gym memberships if you log 12 or more workouts during the month. It also offers a $10 discount on enrollment in Weight Watchers Online. There are other discounts available for services like massage therapy and nutrition supplements.
I’ve also taken advantage of my insurance’s Healthy Start Program for women who are pregnant. Once a month, a Healthy Start registered OB nurse calls you and chats with you about how your pregnancy is going and answers questions you may have. The nurse is also available to call to ask questions at any time throughout the month. After the birth of your child, you’ll get sent a $50 gift card to major retailers like Target or Amazon. I loved this program! With both pregnancies I was lucky to get the same nurse, and she was really friendly and knowledgeable. It was well worth signing up for!
My friend Michelle told me that her Medica plan allows her to earn $25 per quarter for doing things that benefit her health like preventative care appointments, completing a 6-week seminars on topics such as losing weight, exercising, and reducing stress. She also earns 1 point for every 100 minutes she walks with a maximum of 10 points per quarter. At the end of the quarter, she can trade 25 wellness credits for a $25 gift certificate. By the end of the year, she could earn $75 from her health insurance company by doing things that are good for her.
Check out your health insurer’s website. You may be pleasantly surprised at the discounts and information you find there.