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Rewards don’t always have to drive purchases – they can also be used to foster important lifestyle changes to increase health and wellness consumer engagement.
Health care has been undergoing significant changes in the U.S., and there has also been a renewed focus on preventative care and wellness programs. More and more insurance plans, healthcare providers, and employee benefits administrators are looking to implement marketing programs that increase member engagement and participation in healthy behaviors in ways that are cost-effective.
John Westerberg, vice president of business development for Corporate Marketing Solutions at Entertainment®, works with healthcare clients like these to establish rewards-based programs with merchant discounts focused on health and wellness.
“Health services, hospital groups, and employers are looking to foster a healthier workforce and potentially lower their health care costs,” Westerberg said. “And the list is only going to grow given the prominence of health care in recent years and the importance of improving overall health in this country.”
Entertainment® Corporate Marketing Solutions works to enhance healthy living initiatives with high-value, low-cost discount incentives through strategic partnerships with merchants. Westerberg said that with a database of over 400,000 savings offers, it is easy to find discount packages that will fit the requirements of their clients, encouraging healthy behaviors and consumer engagement.
Specifically, Westerberg explained that it is important to reach this audience with relevant and motivating offers. Entertainment® can sort by geography to provide discounts focused on a healthy lifestyle like golf, tennis, and bicycling; walking tours and museum offers; and healthy dining offers, including local and chain merchants.
In addition, Westerberg explained the importance of tailoring offers so that it is easy for customers and participants to take advantage of them. He said that print-based offers are popular for seniors, while digital is the most requested format for the general population. Mobile is the fastest growing platform for Entertainment®, and the company strives to provide convenient ways to search for and redeem offers—when, where, and how people want them.
According to Westerberg, there are government regulations to adhere to when providing healthcare incentives. His clients need to be sensitive to personal health care information, must have secure and compliant vendors throughout the supply chain, and follow guidelines that might change year to year.
But, with the proper use of compliant health and wellness rewards and incentives, it is possible to drive profitability for health insurance plans and encourage healthy behavior. Westerberg gave the example of utilizing rewards to incentivize a member to complete a health risk assessment. This can set the stage for getting that member on the right track to health and wellness.
“Here the insurance plan has been able to identify, educate, and start treatment or protocols that get people on a path to early condition management, therefore reducing potential chronic illness and costly procedures down the road,” Westerberg said. “And if we as a company can help make things a little more rewarding, fun and engaging to do the right thing, then everyone wins.”