Kaiser pays cash when members lose weight

Kaiser Permanente of Colorado hopes a new incentive--cold, hard cash--will motivate people to lose weight. Although other insurers have offered similar programs, Kaiser is one of the first to make a weight loss program available to all adult members, the Associated Press reports.

The insurer's new "Weigh and Win" program awards members between $15 and $150 every three months for losing a certain amount of weight and keeping it off. All adult Kaiser members are eligible, but participation in the program isn't mandatory to receive coverage, reports Live Insurance News.

"Weight loss is as effective as mammograms or colon cancer screenings or blood pressure control when you speak about the amount of dollars you spend for the life years you gain from the program," said Eric France, Kaiser's chief of population care and prevention services. "And from the medical perspective, losing about 5 percent body weight is considered valuable and helpful."

Kaiser already has spent $500,000 to initiate the program and install 12 kiosks, which are outfitted with scales and a video camera to record members' progress, in medical facilities, recreation centers and libraries, the AP notes.

To learn more:
- read the Live Insurance News article
- see the AP article