Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Introduces Anthem Health Rewards: Market-Leading Incentive-Based Products

MILWAUKEE, Oct. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Rising health care costs are prompting many employers to seek new health benefits solutions that will encourage healthier behaviors in their employees. In response to customers' needs, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield (Anthem) is introducing a new product designed to increase engagement in health and wellness activities, resulting in healthier and more productive employees.

Known as Anthem Health Rewards, the product enables Anthem customers to provide their employees with a variety of rewards - for example, gift cards, premium contribution discounts and account deposits - when they complete a health risk assessment and/or participate in health and wellness programs offered by Anthem, such as FutureMoms and care management programs for people living with chronic conditions such as diabetes.

"Incentives are powerful and effective motivators that can positively influence behaviors," said Larry Schreiber, president of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Wisconsin. "Our clients have asked for incentives to encourage their employees to adopt healthier lifestyles and participate in our wellness and care management programs. Anthem Health Rewards is just another example of our commitment to meet the needs of our customers and to seek out innovative ways to address rising health care costs."

The products will be available to self-insured employers in Wisconsin, effective Jan. 1, 2011.

Today's consumer is looking for plans that include proactive care management and wellness programs, helping them get the most out of their benefits.

"Consumers are searching for plans that do more than just pay their medical bills. They're looking for insurance plans that help them navigate the health care system and manage chronic conditions, provide more value for their money, and help them stay healthy in the long run through innovative wellness programs," said Schreiber.

"We all know that health care costs are rising, due in part to lifestyle choices. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said that about 75 percent of health care costs are driven by lifestyle-related chronic illnesses such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes and arthritis," said Randy Brown, executive vice president of human resources for Anthem's parent company, which also offers Anthem Health Rewards as part its health plan offerings. "We know that individuals who are personally accountable and engage in healthy behaviors reap the benefits of better health."

Applying the principles of behavioral economics, Anthem will consult with employers to devise a strategy that best meets their objectives. Employers will have the flexibility to create a program that is targeted specifically to their employee base, or they can choose a program that is longitudinal in design. Anthem also provides online wellness programs focused on weight management, nutrition, exercise, stress management, insomnia and smoking cessation. These online programs offer customers lower-cost ways of promoting health and wellness.

About Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Wisconsin

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wisconsin ("BCBSWi") underwrites or administers the PPO and indemnity policies; Compcare Health Services Insurance Corporation ("Compcare") underwrites or administers the HMO policies; and Compcare and BCBSWi collectively underwrite or administer the POS policies. Independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. ® ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

SOURCE Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Wisconsin