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Value-Based Health Benefit Increases Employee Engagement

In today’s austere economy, American workers’ attention is focused on spending less and saving more, according to recent research from the Principal Financial Well-Being Index_. Employers can take advantage of this increased awareness by rewarding workers who practice healthier lifestyles with savings on healthcare.

Lee Dukes, president of Principal Wellness Company, points out that when wellness is linked to health benefits, the workplace culture begins to move towards adopting healthier lifestyles. "After all, the best claim discount we can offer our customers is a claim that never occurs."

The new Principal Value-Based Health Benefit_ program integrates health and wellness benefits and is available for Principal’s self-funded clients. Employees who commit to participate in preventive medical care and healthy behaviors can choose from two financial benefit options.

Participation in health improvement activities, such as preventive screenings and educational seminars, earns a better health benefit typically at a lower cost. Besides the lower premium contributions, the better benefit provides lower deductibles, co-payments and out-of-pocket maximums. Those electing not to participate see a lesser benefit level frequently at a higher cost.

Other features of the Value-Based Health Benefit program include:

  • Ongoing wellness coaching and education focusing on risk identification and improvement;
  • Reduced costs for members with special health conditions who comply with maintenance medication guidelines;
  • Reduced out-of-pocket expenses for preventive care; and
  • Comprehensive member education available in print, online, or in person.

Jerry Ripperger, director of business development for the Principal Financial Group, believes their new program gives employees concrete, financial reasons to become more engaged in their healthcare andhealth-related choices. And of course, it’s a win-win for employers. "Healthy employees have fewer absences, are more productive while at work, and are less likely to get injured. It’s simple. A healthy workforce saves money and contributes to a healthier bottom line."

Address: Principal Financial Group, 711 High St., Des Moines, IA 50392; (800) 986-3343,

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