Healthier U campaign aims to educate

FLINT —HealthPlus recently announced one of its most ambitious projects to date: a campaign designed to get all of its members age 18 and older, some 140,000 of them, to complete an individual wellness assessment and engage in a tailored health-improvement program.

Dubbed “Healthier U,” the campaign is the brainchild of the company’s health and lifestyle management team, which champion’s effective member engagement in wellness programming, and is led by Elaine Schnueringer, onetime University of Michigan researcher.

The campaign is designed to motivate and guide members in making small health improvements with the idea that most people can be a little bit healthier. Healthier U is grouped into four categories – Nourish U, Active U, Balanced U and Social U — to reflect a holistic approach to well-being.

“When you’re healthier, you feel better. But now consumer pocket-books are affected,” said Schnueringer. “Under the Affordable Care Act smokers will have significantly higher contributions, employers are requiring greater cost sharing and insurers are offering plans with lower premiums in exchange for healthy lifestyles.”

In response to growing awareness, HealthPlus is rolling out its robust Healthier U. The program starts with a confidential online wellness assessment — — that requires a login and takes 15 minutes to complete. Results have no impact on a member’s plan or premiums.

The following voluntary information is requested:

• Height and weight

• Amount of fruits and vegetables regularly consumed

• Average weekly amount of physical activity

• Preventive medical service visits

• Life satisfaction level

• Known diseases or chronic conditions

• And more

In fact, Schnueringer cites a 2003 study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine demonstrating the value of an assessment in tandem with a wellness program. Moreover, the study showed that as assessment participation increased, so did annual medical cost savings.

Once they complete the assessment, members receive an individually tailored plan designed to improve health through Healthier U programming, which includes:

• Interactive wellness “challenges”

• Free health-related webinars

• Monthly e-newsletter

• Coupons for the HealthPlus Crim Festival of Races, Crim training program and the HealthPlus Brooksie Way

• Upcoming events and opportunities

• Disease and chronic condition management information

• Personal health coach (if eligible)

“The focus of Healthier U is getting members active in managing their own health,” said Ms. Schnueringer. “But if they do get sick, or if they suffer from a chronic condition, HealthPlus has a team of doctors, nurses, dieticians, social workers, psychologists and pharmacists available to assist with care management. These professionals can help navigate very complex systems while ensuring patients get the right care at the right time and in the right place.”

The National Committee for Quality Assurance has ranked HealthPlus’ commercial HMO among the nation’s top health plans for the past nine years**; its commercial, Medicaid and Medicare HMO plans are accredited as “Excellent” by the NCQA. — G.G.

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