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Three-year Study Shows Engagement in Wellness Program Lowers Health Claims Costs, Improves Work Productivity


Tuesday, March 29, 2016 10:00 am EDT



Public Company Information:

"One critical measure of a wellness program’s success is its ability to engage all members, both the unhealthy and the healthy"

LOUISVILLE, Ky.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A three-year study of Humana Inc.’s (NYSE: HUM) data-driven wellness and rewards program, HumanaVitality, shows employees engaged with the health incentive program had fewer unscheduled absences, lower overall health claims costs and fewer visits to the hospital and emergency room. The HumanaVitality Impact Study has tracked the productivity as well as the healthcare usage and claims of more than 8,000 Humana employees since the program’s launch in 2011.

HumanaVitality also provides health and well-being choices to 3.9 million members enrolled as part of Humana’s medical plan offerings for its commercial fully insured, self-insured and individual members. Engagement results for the first external population of HumanaVitality members to reach the actuarially significant three-year membership mark will be included in next year’s impact analysis.

HumanaVitality helps members create highly personal paths to health, and then awards points both for steps taken toward better health and measurable milestones achieved. The points can then be redeemed for rewards from major retailers, fitness equipment and personal electronics; the points can even be used for charitable donations.

“Employers are still looking for ways to validate the success of their wellness programs,” said Beth Bierbower, President of Group Segment for Humana. “Through multi-year study results, HumanaVitality has proven to be an effective investment in building a healthier and more productive workforce.”

Key findings from the third-year analysis show (see addendum for methodology):

  • Engaged members in HumanaVitality, on average, had six fewer hours of unscheduled absences compared to unengaged members, who averaged 23 hours per year.
  • As compared to the baseline, engaged HumanaVitality members’ health claims costs decreased six percent in Year 1 and 10 percent by Year 3. In contrast, unengaged members experienced a 17 percent increase by Year 3.
  • Engaged members without chronic health conditions were more likely to use healthcare for preventive care, such as routine check-ups/physicals and screenings.
  • Unengaged members had 56 percent more emergency room visits and 37 percent more hospital visits.

“One critical measure of a wellness program’s success is its ability to engage all members, both the unhealthy and the healthy,” said HumanaVitality President Joe Woods. “So one of the big highlights in this study is the improved engagement in people with lifestyle-related chronic conditions.”

The analysis found the percentage of engaged members in a low-risk range for chronic conditions increased by 24.4 percent over the three-year study compared to only 14 percent for unengaged members. Among all types of medical claims, the biggest difference in healthcare spending between engaged and unengaged employees was seen in those with “lifestyle chronic conditions.” According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), chronic conditions are responsible for the bulk of healthcare costs in the United States.

For an infographic and report about the HumanaVitality Impact Study of Humana employees, please click here. For more information about HumanaVitality, visit www.humanavitality.com.

Addendum: Methodology

This study was performed on a cohort of Humana associates who were on a Humana employee medical health plan for a full 12 months in at least three consecutive plan years over the study period. The study was conducted by Humana actuaries for the following time period: Baseline Year (July 2010 – June 2011), Year 1 of the HumanaVitality program (July 2011 – June 2012) , Year 2 of the HumanaVitality program (July 2012 – June 2013) and Year 3 of the HumanaVitality program (July 2013 – June 2014). Only Humana employees were included in the study; individuals with high-cost claims (>= $ 100,000 in the Baseline Year, Year 1, Year 2 and Year 3) were removed from the sample. The final sample size was 8,015 employees in the Year 3 analysis.

About HumanaVitality

HumanaVitality®, headquartered in Chicago, Ill., uses behavioral, clinical and actuarial science to motivate individuals to make healthier choices. By integrating rewards with healthy behaviors, HumanaVitality provides the tools and support necessary to help Humana members live healthier lives and furthers Humana’s Dream to Help People Achieve Lifelong Well-Being(SM).

HumanaVitality has 3.9 million eligible members who are enhancing their health and wellness through a comprehensive integrated approach to lifestyle improvement. For more information about HumanaVitality, please visit the company’s website at www.humanavitality.com. You can also find HumanaVitality on Facebook: http://facebook.com/humanavitality, Twitter: @HumanaVitality, Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/humanavitality, Tumblr: http://humanavitality.tumblr.com, and Google+: HumanaVitality.

About Humana

Humana Inc., headquartered in Louisville, Ky., is a leading health and well-being company focused on making it easy for people to achieve their best health with clinical excellence through coordinated care. The company’s strategy integrates care delivery, the member experience, and clinical and consumer insights to encourage engagement, behavior change, proactive clinical outreach and wellness for the millions of people we serve across the country.

More information regarding Humana is available to investors via the Investor Relations page of the company’s web site at www.humana.com, including copies of:

  • Annual reports to stockholders
  • Securities and Exchange Commission filings
  • Most recent investor conference presentations
  • Quarterly earnings news releases
  • Replays of most recent earnings release conference calls
  • Calendar of events
  • Corporate Governance information


Humana Corporate Communications
Ross McLerran, 210-617-1771