Survey: Consumers don't trust insurers, employers as health source

Many wellness programs could be doomed to fail based on a recent survey finding that most consumers don't trust their insurers or employers as a source of health and wellness.

Based on more than 1,000 consumers participating in a survey from health optimization company Welltok, just 8 percent rely on their health insurers as a source of health and wellness. And just 10 percent rely on employers.

That's why simply creating and implementing wellness programs isn't enough for insurers and employers to help consumers maintain a healthful lifestyle and avoid getting sick. They must first establish themselves as reliable and trustworthy. Steps that insurers can take include creating a wellness platform approach that, for example, provides health itineraries informing consumers of health activities, preventative services and location-based guidance. Insurers also should consider tailoring their wellness programs to the specific culture of each employer, FierceHealthPayer previously reported.

The problem, however, is that 77 percent of consumers rely only on themselves to manage their health. Yet consumers reported a lack of motivation and personalized guidance as the top barriers to achieving their best health, the survey found.

"What consumers need to truly change behaviors and improve overall health status is access to personalized guidance, resources and programs aligned with incentives that will empower them to be as healthy as they can be at every point in their life," Scott Rotermund, co-founder and chief growth officer for Welltok, said in a statement.

Additionally, the survey found that more than 85 percent of consumers think insurers should offer rewards, including cash, lower premiums and gift cards, for being healthy. But other wellness experts believe these rewards don't compel participation and engagement in wellness programs, particularly because they don't provide social support or long-term benefits.

To learn more:
- here's the Welltok statement and survey

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