Private insurer studies effects of incentive-based health promotions

Results show lower healthcare costs among those who participated.

A healthier workforce may lead to lower insurance costs for many employers. Reward-based promotions may be the answer, according to a recent study by South Africa's largest private insurer.

The showed that individuals participating in incentive-based wellness programs had significantly lower healthcare costs than those who did not. The study tracked almost 950,000 adults for one year. Sixty-two percent of them registered for the incentive and reward-based health promotion.

Findings from the study are being presented at the South Carolina-based Annual Art & Science of Health Promotion Conference, which looks at methods for scientists, educators and practitioners to promote fitness.

"The rise in incidence of chronic disease and associated healthcare costs is unsustainable," Deepak Patel, senior clinical specialist for the study, said. "As researchers, it is critical we evaluate and identify solutions to mitigate this trend."

Patel said they would continue to study the correlation between health promotions and costs.

Disease is one of the biggest factors driving healthcare costs in America. About one-third of adults suffer from obesity, according to research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which can lead to heart disease as well as higher premiums. ADNFCR-2378-ID-19659909-ADNFCR

Posted: March 9, 2010

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