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.
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.