WellPoint Affiliated Online Stores Prove Popular With Baby Boomers

 INDIANAPOLIS, Feb. 28, 2011 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — The online stores featuring the Medicare plans of WellPoint affiliated companies proved very popular with seniors during the recently concluded Annual Enrollment Period (AEP), demonstrating Baby Boomers’ confidence with learning about, pricing and buying health care services online.

The stores, which vary by brand, launched in September and steadily picked up traffic during AEP, which ran from Nov. 15 through Dec. 31, 2010. During this period, more than 225,000 different quotes were delivered on WellPoint affiliated Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement and Prescription Drug Plans online.

In fact, more than one in five Medicare applications came into WellPoint affiliated plans through electronic sources during AEP. The busiest day of the year for the stores was Dec. 30 as AEP was winding down.

“The first Baby Boomers are aging into Medicare this year,” explained Krista Bowers, vice president of WellPoint’s senior division. “We knew from our research that they would be more confident with the Internet than their predecessors. That’s why we launched the online stores in time for AEP. However, the extent to which the Boomers went online exceeded even our expectations.

“During AEP, we tried to meet people where they were most comfortable,” Bowers added. “Some went online by themselves, while others were assisted by our sales agents or independent brokers. Of course, we also had our regular enrollment channels, including telephone calls and face-to-face meetings.”

Nevertheless, it’s clear that Internet channels are growing in popularity among seniors, especially with 70 million Baby Boomers aging into Medicare over the next two decades. According to a 2010 study by Pew Research Center, 76 percent of older Boomers (56-64) and 81 percent of younger Boomers (46-55) go online, making up about 33 percent of the total Internet using population. The study shows that getting health information is one of their top reasons for going online.

The online stores of WellPoint affiliated companies allow visitors to learn about products, compare plans, get a quote and even enroll in a plan when eligible.

About WellPoint, Inc.

WellPoint works to simplify the connection between Health, Care and Value. We help to improve the health of our communities, deliver better care to members, and provide greater value to our customers and shareholders. WellPoint is the nation’s largest health benefits company in terms of medical enrollment, with more than 33 million members in its affiliated health plans, and a total of more than 69 million individuals served through all subsidiaries.

Health Savings Accounts Surpass $10 Billion in Total Deposits

MINNEAPOLIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) surpassed $10 Billion at year-end 2010 according to a survey and the resulting research report conducted by Devenir, an investment firm that specializes in providing investment options for HSAs.

“The survey was conducted in order to help shed light on the rapidly growing and evolving health savings account market”

The survey data was collected in January, 2011 and primarily consisted of top 30 custodians in the health savings account market. All data was requested for the calendar 2010 year, ending on Dec 31st, 2010. “The survey was conducted in order to help shed light on the rapidly growing and evolving health savings account market”, says Eric Remjeske President and Co-Founder of Devenir.

Key Findings from the Devenir 2010 survey and research report:

  • Rapid growth. HSAs continue to see dramatic growth as the total number of HSA accounts rose to 6.2 million with assets totaling almost $10.1 billion, a year over year increase of 27% for accounts and a 41% increase in assets.
  • Largest custodians hold significant market share. The top 5 custodians hold over $4.4 billion in HSA assets amongst almost 2.7 million accounts, accounting for 44% of all HSA assets.
  • Average account balance grows. The average account balance grew almost 11% in 2010 to $1,627.
  • HSA investment dollars continue to grow. HSA investment assets reached an estimated $725 million in 2010 (102% year over year increase), and are projected to reach $10.3 billion by end of 2015.

“The industry has experienced tremendous growth and is likely to continue growing at this pace” according to Jon Robb, Lead Research Associate with Devenir, “however, when looking back at a number of HSA market reports dating back to 2005-2007, almost always the conservative 2010 projections were the most accurate.” Taking this into consideration, Devenir conservatively projects the HSA market to reach $61 billion in assets by the end of 2015, a 43% CAGR over the next five years. Devenir also projects that HSA investment dollars will continue to grow quickly as health savings account user’s balances become larger, representing 17% of all HSA assets by the end of 2015.

Forward-looking statements are based on current expectations and assumptions based on historical growth, the economy and other future conditions and forecasts of future events, circumstances, and results. As with any projection or forecast, they are inherently susceptible to uncertainty and changes in circumstances.

About Devenir

Devenir is a full-service investment firm based in Minneapolis and is a national leader in providing customized investment solutions to the HSA marketplace. As an independent investment firm, Devenir offers a host of investment options to suit the unique needs of employers, banks, credit unions, third party administrators and plan participants. Devenir designs and implements convenient, user-friendly and cost-effective investment platforms by integrating quality investment choices with streamlined administrative functions. This approach allows any bank, credit union or third party administrator to attach a robust back-end investment process to most health benefit plans or IRAs.


Aetna Members Now Have Access to Non-Urgent Care Consultations by Phone

HARTFORD, Conn., February 23, 2011 — Aetna (NYSE: AET) members in most fully-insured medical plans in Texas and Florida now have the option of using a new service from Teladoc to access non-urgent care over the phone. 

“When a member’s primary care doctor is not available, a telephone consultation from Teladoc’s local physicians may be a good option for some members with minor illnesses. Members not only have access to quality care from the comfort of their home or office, but they also can avoid the time and expense of emergency rooms,” said Robert Kropp, M.D., regional medical director for Aetna.

Some of the conditions Teladoc doctors can address include:
• sinus problems
• bronchitis
• allergies
• sore throat and stuffy nose
• urinary tract infection
• respiratory infections

Aetna members can contact a participating Teladoc doctor by calling 1-855-Teladoc (835-2362) or visiting www.Teladoc.com/Aetna. A local Teladoc doctor will call the member usually within 20-30 minutes. The service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Members in Aetna’s Medicare Advantage or Medicaid benefits plans are not currently eligible.

“We are proud to have been selected by Aetna, one of the most progressive  health plans in the nation, and look forward to bringing its members a new level of convenience and access to affordable, quality care,” says Jason Gorevic, CEO of Teladoc.  

The cost of a Teladoc consultation is $38 or lower, depending on the Aetna member’s specific plan. Copays, deductibles and coinsurance apply. Teladoc consultations are a qualified expense for HSA, FSA and HRA accounts.

A summary of each consultation is captured in an electronic health record (EHR).  The member can share the health record with his or her primary care physician. Teladoc doctors can also refer to it during future member visits to help diagnose, recommend treatment and prescribe medications, when appropriate.

Teladoc is the nation’s first and largest provider of access to telehealth consultations. Its nationwide network of licensed, board certified primary care physicians serve more than 3 million members. The company was founded in 2002 and is based in Dallas, TX.

About Aetna
Aetna is one of the nation’s leading diversified health care benefits companies, serving approximately 35.4 million people with information and resources to help them make better informed decisions about their health care. Aetna offers a broad range of traditional, voluntary and consumer-directed health insurance products and related services, including medical, pharmacy, dental, behavioral health, group life and disability plans, and medical management capabilities and health care management services for Medicaid plans.  

Humana To Offer Industry-Leading Vitality Wellness And Loyalty Program To Health Plan Members Through Joint Venture With South Africa’s Discovery Holdings Ltd.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. & JOHANNESBURG–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM) announced today that it will offer the Vitality wellness and loyalty program and the program’s wide range of well-being tools and reward-partners through a joint venture with the program’s parent, Discovery Holdings Ltd. (JSE: DSY). A key element of the program includes a sophisticated health-behavior-change model supported by an actuarially sound incentive program.

“There is a growing trend toward emphasis on cost-management through wellness and prevention and this presents a compelling opportunity for HumanaVitality in the U.S.”

Under terms of the transaction, Humana will capitalize a new entity, U.S.-based HumanaVitality, LLC, in which South Africa-based Discovery will hold a 25 percent stake. HumanaVitality will provide Humana members with the tools and support necessary to help them make healthy choices and achieve lifelong well-being through access to the comprehensive Vitality wellness solution.

In addition, Humana will acquire a 25 percent stake in the business of The Vitality Group, Discovery’s U.S. subsidiary, which will continue to offer the Vitality wellness solution to U.S. employers who may have chosen other insurance and or wellness company solutions. The joint venture is subject to approval by the South African Reserve Bank.

“This joint venture fits perfectly with Humana’s consumer-focused strategy that integrates health, wellness and lifelong well-being as our platform for future growth,” said Michael B. McCallister, Humana’s chairman of the board and chief executive officer. “HumanaVitality will offer employers and individuals an integrated, comprehensive wellness solution. It unites Discovery’s wellness expertise and ability to integrate rewards with health, and Humana’s demonstrated innovation in consumer engagement that fosters positive behavior change.”

“Discovery is very excited about the potential of our strategic partnership with Humana. It combines Humana’s brand credibility and scale with Vitality’s intellectual property and proven track record in consumer-engaged wellness programs,” said Adrian Gore, Discovery Holdings’ chief executive officer. “There is a growing trend toward emphasis on cost-management through wellness and prevention and this presents a compelling opportunity for HumanaVitality in the U.S.”

HumanaVitality will open its headquarters offices in Chicago this month. Humana’s Sean Slovenski has been appointed HumanaVitality’s chief operating officer. Slovenski has many years of experience in health care and well-being, most recently as chief executive of Hummingbird Coaching Services, a health-coaching company based in Cincinnati that Humana acquired in 2010. Hummingbird’s services will also become an integral component of the wellness solution being offered by Humana.

Discovery Vitality, an international brand, is a science-based wellness solution that encourages healthy behaviors that reduce long-term health care costs by rewarding members for improving their health. Established more than 10 years ago, Vitality has built a comprehensive integrated approach to lifestyle improvement.

Serving more than 1.9 million people worldwide, Discovery Vitality is the world’s largest incentive-based health-enhancement program. As documented in recently published peer-reviewed journals, Vitality has demonstrated quantifiable success in changing people’s behavior and lowering the economic costs of chronic illness. Engaged Vitality members experienced lower health care and chronic disease costs per patient, shorter stays in the hospital and fewer admissions than the general population.

The use of incentives is pivotal to changing behavior. In 2010 alone, the program provided its members more than 500,000 flights, nearly 20,000 hotel stays and 3.5 million movie tickets for meeting lifestyle-modification goals.

About Discovery Holdings

Discovery Holdings (JSE: DSY) is an authorized financial-services provider. Discovery operates in health-care coverage and life insurance markets in South Africa and the U.K. through PruHealth and PruProtect, as well as the long-term savings and investment market in South Africa. Recently, Discovery entered into an agreement to purchase 20 percent of Ping An Health of China.

Vitality, Discovery’s wellness program, is the largest provider of corporate and individual wellness initiatives in South Africa, also operating in the U.K. and the U.S. The company’s core purpose is to make people healthier, and to enhance and protect people’s lives through financial products that clients need and want.

About Humana

Humana Inc., headquartered in Louisville, Ky., is one of the nation’s largest publicly traded health and supplemental benefits companies, with approximately 10.2 million medical members, 7.1 million specialty members, and more than 300 medical centers and 240 worksite medical facilities. Humana is a full-service benefits and well-being solutions company, offering a wide array of health, pharmacy and supplemental benefit plans for employer groups, government programs and individuals, as well as primary and workplace care through its medical centers and worksite medical facilities.

Med-Vantage Launches Integrated Member Out-of-Pocket Cost Estimator

Med-Vantage® Inc — a healthcare software solutions company, offering innovative and distinctive solutions for consumer transparency, provider performance management, and personal health management — today announced the release of their Member Out-of-Pocket-Cost Estimator. BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina is the first customer to launch the solution, delivering it as a standalone tool as well as integrating the members’ costs into their Doctor and Hospital Finder, built on the Med-Vantage HealthSmart Enhanced Provider Directory™, a web-based provider search tool.

The Out-of-Pocket Estimator is a web-based Med-Vantage cost analytic module that helps members understand “what is this going to cost me?” The Out-of-Pocket Estimator calculates an estimate of a member’s out-of-pocket expenses for a given procedure by applying the applicable real-time benefits of the member’s specific plan to the calculated cost range.

BlueCross is one of the first of the Blue Cross Blue Shield companies to run the Out of Pocket Estimator, based on the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association’s National Cost Comparison Tool (NCCT) data, covering Association-defined treatment categories. This vital transparency information is fully integrated into BlueCross’ Doctor and Hospital Finder, which already provides their members with sophisticated hospital and doctor search capabilities as well as hospital quality data. “With consumers paying a larger share of healthcare costs than ever before, we felt that providing personalized cost information specific to a member’s plan and chosen provider was a critical next step,” said Laura Long, M.D., MPH and V.P. of Clinical Quality and Health Management for BlueCross.

Med-Vantage adds the Member Out-of-Pocket Estimator to its current list of clinical cost and quality analytics for a wide variety of transparency, member profiling, and provider performance measurement needs. Because most out-of-pocket calculators in existence today are designed for hospitals or providers at the point of service, they display cost information at the billing code level for a given provider – which members don’t understand. The Med-Vantage offering displays estimated costs for specific conditions, surgeries or procedures and is calculated based on a typical ‘service profile’ for the condition, surgery or procedure.  The service profile is a unique part of the Med-Vantage analytics engine that breaks a given procedure down into its components services and their associated costs, and then applies those costs against the member’s benefit structure. For example, the cost for a colonoscopy would include costs for the procedure itself, the anesthesiologist, and the actual facility providing the procedure room.

“With the growth in consumer-directed healthcare and the passage of healthcare reform, we’re seeing more and more payers seeking ways to aid members in their healthcare decision-making and planning,” said Peter Goldbach, MD, President and CEO of Med-Vantage.  “By adding the Out-of-Pocket Estimator to their provider directory, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina further extends their ability to engage consumers in actively managing their care and making choices that can significantly reduce their out-of-pocket costs.”

The Out-of-Pocket Estimator can be integrated into the HealthSmart Enhanced Provider Directory or be implemented as a stand-alone tool. In addition to applying costs to the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association NCCT treatment categories, the solution also calculates estimates for 450 Med-Vantage-defined conditions, surgeries and procedures.

BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

About Med-VantageMed-Vantage is software solutions company focused on driving improved healthcare by providing easy to use consumer transparency and provider performance management solutions that effectively engage users and support smart value-based choices. Founded in 2001, Med-Vantage is a California-based privately held company that is majority owned by a consortium of Blue Cross and Blue Shield licensees called BP Informatics, LLC. Plans participating in the alliance include Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida (through its subsidiary Navigy, Inc.), Blue Cross of Massachusetts, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (through its subsidiary NobleHealth, Inc.), Health Care Service Corporation, and Highmark Blue Shield Inc

Assurant Health Now Offers Payment Advocacy Services

Milwaukee, Wis., February 15, 2011—Assurant Health announced today that it will be offering a payment advocacy service to all its Assurant Health AccessSM customers who have more than $500 in out-of-pocket expenses related to their healthcare.  This service is available through Assurant Health’s agreement with Health Payment Advocates (HPA), a healthcare financial advocacy firm, at no additional cost to its customers.

The advocacy service helps Assurant Health Access customers understand their financial liability and assists them in managing and reducing their out-of-pocket medical expenses that exceed $500, regardless of the reason. Assurant Health Access is Assurant Health’s convenient, low-cost option for individuals who want coverage for routine medical care expenses, as well as cost sharing on many major expenses, without large deductibles.

When customers use the HPA services, experienced professionals will serve as their advocates with medical providers to find solutions acceptable to both parties. These potential resolutions can include discounts on the amount owed or enrolling the customer in a payment plan or charity care program.

“We are always looking for new ways to differentiate our offerings and provide additional services for customers,” said Scott Krienke, senior vice president, product and marketing at Assurant Health. “At a time when plan members are becoming responsible for an increasingly large share of their health care expenses, we feel it is important to provide them with tools and services to help manage those expenses.”

“We conducted a pilot of the HPA services across our entire book of business over the last year, and the results exceeded our expectations.  That’s why we’re now offering this service to individuals enrolled in our Assurant Health Access product to help them manage their exposure if they exceed coverage limits and have high out-of-pocket expenses.”

“We welcome the opportunity to continue and expand our relationship with Assurant Health,” said Terry Harris, president of HPA. “The recession, healthcare reform and continued cost-shifting have all caused hardships for many healthcare consumers.” 

About Assurant Health

Assurant Health has been in business since 1892 and is the brand name for products underwritten and issued by Time Insurance Company, John Alden Life Insurance Company and Union Security Insurance Company. Together, these three underwriting companies provide health insurance coverage to people nationwide. Each underwriting company is financially responsible for its own insurance products. Primary products include individual medical, small group and short-term health insurance products, as well as non-insurance products and consumer-choice products, such as Health Savings Accounts and Health Reimbursement Arrangements. Assurant Health is headquartered in Milwaukee, Wis., with operations offices in Minnesota, Idaho and Florida, as well as sales offices across the country. The Assurant Health website is www.assuranthealth.com.

About Health Payment Advocates, LLC

Health Payment Advocates (HPA) is dedicated to helping plan members understand and minimize their healthcare related out-of-pocket expenses.   HPA works with the payer, TPA, broker and employer group community to provide significant administrative savings for the plan and administrator. For more information, please visit the firm’s web site at www.healthpaymentadvocates.com.

Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island Unveils Innovative New Health Plans For Small Businesses

(Providence, RI, 02.14.2011) –  Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI) today announced that it is rolling out a new product portfolio for small business employers beginning with April 1 enrollment dates or plan renewals.  The new health plan offerings are in response to employers who requested plan options that help moderate costs while continuing to deliver high-quality and affordable coverage for employees.

 “We understand that providing health benefits to employees is one of the biggest challenges Rhode Island small businesses are facing today and that those businesses are looking for ways to reduce healthcare costs without passing them on to employees,” said Corey McCarty, director of strategic marketing and product innovation at BCBSRI.  “We believe our new offerings will deliver high-quality health coverage that encourages employees to take action on their health.”

The new portfolio delivers 11 different options with features and benefits designed especially for small businesses.  These plan options lower or eliminate certain financial barriers in the hopes of getting employees to treat chronic conditions  to avoid more expensive medical treatment in the future.  For example, some patients do not take their prescription medication because of cost, which can have numerous effects on their health.  Many of our new plans offer reduced prescription drug copayments for chronic conditions such as diabetes, a disease in which half of all patients fail to take their medication as prescribed[1].

The plans provide wellness program incentives and a variety of deductible and coinsurance options to increase employee involvement in health improvement initiatives – a feature employers have been requesting.  The new plans are as follows:

  • VantageBlue – With seven plan options within this suite, VantageBlue offers incentives for healthy living, such as $50 cash for the completion of a personal health assessment, and reduced copayments for certain prescriptions and services for chronic conditions.  These plans also offer special programs for smoking cessation and losing weight as well as learning how to better manage conditions like asthma and diabetes.
  • BlueCHiP for Healthy Options – This plan option encourages employees to focus on their health by featuring wellness requirements, including annual preventive screenings or completing a disease management program that supports healthy lifestyle choices.  This plan complies with the Rhode Island Office of the Health Insurance Commis­sioner’s (OHIC) requirements for a HEALTHpact plan.
  • BlueSolutions for HSA – These two plan options are a good choice for employers who want to control premium costs but maintain quality of coverage for employees.  They feature a higher deductible and the ability to set up an interest-bearing Health Savings Account (HSA), which allows employees to save for medical expenses. 
  • HealthMate Coast-to-Coast Deductible Plan – Considered to be a more traditional plan, this option does not have coinsurance for in-network providers after the plan year deductible is met, providing 100 percent coverage for the employee.

All plans within the new portfolio provide coverage at 100 percent for preventive services, and all are available to new and current employee groups upon renewal beginning April 1, 2011.  There also are optional benefits for Blue Cross Dental, acupuncture and vision benefits, and Group Medicare depending upon the plan chosen.  In addition, BCBSRI is offering employers the opportunity to have benefits such as deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums calculated on a calendar-year or plan-year basis upon renewal.  McCarty commented, “This new change in policy was specifically requested by employers that were looking for their benefits to align with their renewal date, and we are happy to offer the option within this product portfolio moving forward.”

Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island is the state’s leading health insurer and covers more than 600,000 members. The company is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.  For more information, visit www.bcbsri.comand follow us on Twitter @BCBSRI.

MapMyFITNESS Teams With Humana To Create “Humana fit” – A Social Network To Help People Lead Healthier Lives

LOUISVILLE, Ky. & AUSTIN, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–MapMyFITNESS Inc., the premier provider of online and mobile health and fitness-related software applications, today announced a partnership with Humana, one of the nation’s largest health and supplemental benefits companies, to launch “Humana fit” – a Web and mobile social network designed to help its members live healthier and more active lives.

“We are also excited to reach MapMyFITNESS’s 3 million members and add nutrition-tracking capabilities to an already robust social network.”

Providing its members with an array of valuable health and fitness tools, Humana fit features:

  • An online Nutrition Center
  • An application that enables members to map their daily activity, including walking, hiking and biking routes
  • A dynamic social network where users come together to share health progress and motivate one another
  • Seamless integration with companion Humana fit iPhone, Android and BlackBerry apps

The mobile apps use built-in GPS technology to enable members to record and share their exercise routes. Data for all fitness activities can be synced and saved to the user’s training log for monitoring progress on Humana fit.

“Humana fit is a powerful platform, as it leverages the entirety of our Web and mobile technologies to deliver Humana an innovative, multi-faceted health and fitness application with a built-in thriving community from day one,” said Robin J. Thurston, chief executive officer of MapMyFITNESS.

Humana fit’s online community is already growing with early adopters – Humana’s own associates. The company recently invited a pilot group of associates to join, exercise and to also monitor their meals in the online Nutrition Center to better understand how diet impacts the pursuit of good health.

“This partnership with MapMyFITNESS represents a significant step forward in our efforts to promote well-being and provide an innovative, comprehensive solution to Humana associates, Humana members and future consumers of Humana well-being products and services,” said Nate Kvamme, a director in Humana’s Innovation Center. “We are also excited to reach MapMyFITNESS’s 3 million members and add nutrition-tracking capabilities to an already robust social network.”

Humana fit plans to organize health- and fitness-oriented challenges online, calling upon users to join in spirited competitions for improved well-being. For more information, visit www.humanafit.com. MapMyFITNESS is available at www.mapmyfitness.com.


Headquartered in Austin, Texas, MapMyFITNESS, Inc. was founded in 2007 and operates a suite of fitness-oriented websites and associated mobile applications including MapMyRUN.com, MapMyRIDE.com, MapMyWALK.com, MapMyHIKE.com, MapMyFITNESS.com, MapMyMOUNTAIN.com and MapMyTRI.com. MapMyFITNESS provides more than 3 million runners, cyclists, walkers, and other fitness enthusiasts with access to an innovative geo-mapping application that permits them to track and store their daily running, cycling, walking or hiking routes in an online database, a searchable database of routes across the globe, essential community-based fitness content, unique online training tools and fitness calculators, comprehensive global event listings, and a dynamic social network of healthy and active individuals. MapMyFITNESS’s mobile apps use the built-in GPS technology of the iPhone, BlackBerry, and Android to enable users to record and chart their daily fitness activities and routes. For more information about MapMyFITNESS and its offerings, visit http://www.mapmyfitness.com/about/us/.

About Humana

Humana Inc., headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, is one of the nation’s largest publicly traded health and supplemental benefits companies, with approximately 10.2 million medical members, 7.1 million specialty members, and operates more than 300 medical centers and 260 worksite medical facilities. Humana is a full-service benefits and well-being solutions company, offering a wide array of health, pharmacy and supplemental benefit plans for employer groups, government programs and individuals, as well as primary and workplace care through its medical centers and worksite medical facilities.

RedBrick Health Launches Fourth-Generation Consumer Health Engagement Platform

MINNEAPOLIS — RedBrick Health, a leader in innovative health engagement technologies, today launched RedBrick 4, the company’s fourth-generation consumer health engagement platform. Key RedBrick 4 features include:

  • A highly configurable and updated RedBrick Health EarningsSM engine that enables employers to change how they finance employee health benefits by aligning financial rewards with each step in the health engagement process. The latest version of RedBrick’s Health Earnings engine supports results-based incentive designs and handles end-to-end administration of multiple concurrent incentive designs;
  • An enhanced RedBrick HealthMapSM with a “choice architecture” that intelligently prioritizes and presents relevant health improvement opportunities for each individual through analysis of health care utilization history, health assessment and screening results, and personal profile data;
  • New social engagement features presented in the context of team-based online challenges that allow team formation based on the natural social networks within worksite populations;
  • A simple, enhanced and entertaining consumer experience that was designed based on extensive consumer research and incorporates gaming features and mobile design principles.

In a post-launch consumer survey, 86 percent reported that the new platform is simple to use; 79 percent agreed it made it easy to understand their health improvement program options; and 85 percent agreed it clearly communicated how to earn financial rewards for health engagement. Fewer than 6 percent disagreed that the new platform is simple and easy to understand.

“The new RedBrick site is attractive and even easier to use. It’s very clear what options are available to me, and how to get incentives and track how I’m doing,” said Gererdene Gibbons, a customer service representative at Welch Allyn, a RedBrick client and adopter of RedBrick 4. “There is a sense of ownership and control for the user.”

RedBrick Health also added new telephonic and language features to RedBrick 4 to enhance the platform’s accessibility. The entire RedBrick Health online engagement platform is available in both English and Spanish, in addition to multiple other languages via phone. The combined upgrades all further enhance the platform’s ability to support diverse populations.

“Providing a multi-modal experience that has simplicity, clarity and personal relevance is critical to creating broad-based and sustained engagement,” said Kyle Rolfing, chief executive officer of RedBrick Health. “Our new platform demonstrates our relentless commitment to delivering innovative solutions and compelling experiences that allow people to take charge of their health while lowering costs for employers.”

RedBrick 4 is one in a series of health and wellness technology innovations launched by RedBrick in the last year. Other innovations include the launch of a pioneering new interactive health assessment and the introduction of challenge-based healthy social competitions. RedBrick’s innovative approach to health has generated employee health-improvement program engagement rates up to five times the industry average; demonstrated year-over-year population health improvements for multiple clients; and a corresponding measurable return-on-investment for participating employers.

About RedBrick Health

RedBrick Health is a health technology company that drives sustained engagement in health improvement programs through constant innovation and deep consumer insight. The company’s health engagement platform blends a fresh, personalized consumer experience, impactful social networking tools and rewards that link individual financing to healthy behaviors. As a result, RedBrick Health delivers employee engagement rates far exceeding industry norms and the ability to fairly and responsibly control costs through increased employee accountability. Founded in 2006 and headquartered in Minneapolis, RedBrick Health serves large, self-insured employers and strategic distribution partners.

Humana And Instructables.com Announce Winners Of The “Humana Health by Design Challenge”

LOUISVILLE, Ky.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM), one of the nation’s largest publicly traded health and supplemental benefits companies, and Instructables.com – an online project-sharing community – have announced the winners of the “Humana Health by Design Challenge.” Humana challenged people to share their solutions to improve health, and document them in step-by-step format on Instructables.com.

“Humana is thrilled with the responses of so many individuals who offered well-being innovations on Instructables.com”

Winners showed how to design an inexpensive obstacle-avoidance system for the blind, create a brain-controlled wheelchair, build a one-legged therapy stool for autistic children, start a farmers’ market, and exercise for strength and fitness despite physical disability.

“Humana is thrilled with the responses of so many individuals who offered well-being innovations on Instructables.com,” said Raja Rajamannar, chief innovation and marketing officer for Humana. “The many entries we received were excellent examples of how individual ingenuity can enhance health and well-being for people facing challenges.”

Humana’s expert judging panel selected a Grand Prize winner ($5,000 prize package), and three First Prize winners ($500 prize package), from each of three categories:

  • Active (maintaining physical fitness/emotional well-being)
  • Assistive Tech (high-tech/gadget-based approaches to helping ill/elderly/disabled)
  • Adaptive Tools (low-tech/reuse ideas for helping ill/elderly/disabled)

The Grand Prize for Assistive Technology went to Steve Struebing from Annandale, Va., for his Haptic Assisted Locating of Obstacles, or Project HALO. Struebing used simple sensors and vibrating motors to help people with reduced vision identify and avoid obstacles, and navigate the world more safely.

“I was inspired by a television special on echo location,” Struebing said. “With a few inexpensive components, I’ve created a device to help give visually impaired people the freedom to move without the use of a cane or a Seeing Eye dog.”

Grand Prizes also went to Sean Mackin of Chino Hills, Calif. for his One Leg Therapy Stool for Autism in the Adaptive Tools category; and to Pauric O’Callaghan of Stow, Mass. for his Strength & Fitness instructable in the Active category about exercises for people with disabilities.

Entries in the “Humana Health by Design Challenge” were judged by eight judges from across the health, medical, technology and innovation communities, including:

  • Saul Griffith, PhD – 2007 MacArthur Award recipient, winner of multiple inventor awards
  • Matt Herper – senior editor at Forbes magazine, covering medicine and science
  • Joan Kellydirector of well-being and innovation, Humana
  • Quinn Norton – freelance journalist covering science, technology and medicine
  • Aaron Rulseh, MD – editor at Medgadget.com
  • Kelly Traver, MD – founder, Healthiest You; author; former medical director, Google
  • Tyghe Trimble – online editor, Popular Mechanics
  • Eric Wilhelm, PhD – winner of multiple inventor awards, founder/CEO of Instructables

“Great ideas come from real people solving problems for their friends and family,” said judge Saul Griffith, MacArthur Award-winning inventor. “I was impressed by the quality and variety of the entries, and am pleased that the Humana Health by Design Challenge helped encourage people to share their ideas and innovations with the world.”

Instructables.com is a web-based project-sharing community where passionate people share their detailed how-to projects, and learn from and collaborate with others.

“This contest produced a remarkable combination of high-tech concepts and practical low-tech solutions for maintaining health and wellness,” said Eric J. Wilhelm, founder and chief executive officer of Instructables.com. “I’m always amazed by the creativity, enthusiasm, and desire to help others I see in the Instructables.com community!”

For a list of all the winners and runners-up, go to http://www.instructables.com/contest/humana/.

About Humana

Humana Inc., headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, is one of the nation’s largest publicly traded health and supplemental benefits companies, with approximately 10.2 million medical members, 7.1 million specialty members, and operates more than 300 medical centers and 240 worksite medical facilities. Humana is a full-service benefits and well-being solutions company, offering a wide array of health, pharmacy and supplemental benefit plans for employer groups, government programs and individuals, as well as primary and workplace care through its medical centers and worksite medical facilities.