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A few years ago, my employer started offering incentives to encourage employees to live a more healthy lifestyle. They also began imposing financial penalties on employees who refused to quit smoking.
I receive a $200 Visa cash card every year just for taking a biometric screening and watching a few informational videos on topics such as exercise, stress, weight management, and good sleeping habits. It’s a great deal for me because I get to save money by doing something that is in my best interest anyway. Why wouldn’t I want to know what my cholesterol and sugar levels are so I can have advanced warning of a potential problem?
And since I don’t smoke, it really doesn’t bother me that employees that do are charged an insurance surcharge of fifty dollars every month. Better them than me.
These kinds of workplace wellness programs are becoming increasingly popular as more and more companies try to reign in the cost of healthcare. The theory is that more healthy employees will need less healthcare services and that will translate into lower costs for the employer if they can negotiate better a better deal on coverage. And charging a penalty for employees with unhealthy habits pushes more of the cost burden on those who are more likely to need it.
Now rewards programs are for more than just medical insurance. Life insurance providers are starting to offer rewards for policyholders with healthy habits too.
In April 2015, John Hancock’s life insurance with Vitality began offering consumers an opportunity to save money on their premiums and earn valuable rewards simply by embracing a healthy lifestyle. You can earn rewards by doing things you already do, such as going for a walk while wearing a Fitbit, getting a flu shot, or going for annual health screenings. These simple activities earn you “Vitality points” which you can use to reduce the amount of your life insurance premium or cash in for valuable rewards from places like Amazon, Hyatt, and Whole Foods.
If you’re already getting plenty of exercise and eating your daily dose of fruits and veggies you can save some serious money on your life insurance. And if your triglycerides are a little higher than you’d like or you just can’t seem to shed that extra twenty pounds, perhaps the possibility of earning some Amazon gift cards will help motivate you to take action.
It will be interesting to see how popular the John Hancock rewards program becomes and how many other companies jump on the bandwagon and start offering their own rewards program. According to a survey commissioned by John Hancock, 87 percent of respondents believe life insurance policyholders should be rewarded for making healthy choices and 84 percent said they would be more likely to purchase a policy that offered rewards over a traditional life insurance policy. Judging by those numbers, the program will be a hit with consumers.
What do you think about the John Hancock Rewards program? Would you be more likely to purchase life insurance if it came with a rewards program?
I received compensation in exchange for writing this review. Although this post is sponsored, all opinions are my own.