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Published on : March 03, 2012

The Corporate Wellness Leadership Corner

The Corporate Wellness Leadership Corner

In this (March) issue, we wanted to take the opportunity to highlight a couple of the stellar wellness initiatives stemming from some of our 2011 Corporate Wellness Leadership awardees.  

We recently spoke with Judy Hearn, Health and Welfare Manager for Pactiv. Judy received the Corporate Wellness Leadership Award on behalf of Pactiv for their efforts in eliminating cost barriers for employees.  Pactiv was one of the first employers in the Chicagoland area to implement a preventive drug list for a high deductible plan with no cost to its participants. As a result, Pactiv noticed a substantial improvement in clinical indicators and cost savings; the company was pleased to see a high level of satisfaction from participating employees regarding their overall diabetes care. It is because of this that Pactiv was honored at the 2011 leadership awards.

 

Corporate Wellness Magazine:  How did Pactiv go about implementing the preventive drug list for its participants?

Judy Hearn:  Pactiv included the preventive drug list for our participants enrolled in the PPO with a health savings account product offered by our national PPO vendor in 2006. Initially the vendor was very concerned about adding this feature, and we were the first of two large employers in the Chicago area to do so.

CWM:  What sparked this initiative?

JH:  I am a strong proponent of Value Based Benefits, and learned of this first at a Midwest Business Group on Health program with a speaker from the University of Michigan. I saw an opportunity to take the first step toward introducing this concept at Pactiv through the health savings account PPO product. We used the preventive drug list to provide an added benefit to encourage employees to choose this PPO product.

CWM:  Give a general sense of what cost savings looked like for employees following this initiative.

JH:  Employees could receive any drug on the preventive list at no cost or co-payment, whether received by retail or mail order; this included both generic and brand name drugs.  Employees taking several drugs found on the preventive drug list could easily see a potential savings of several hundred dollars per month.

CWM: Were there any difficulties with employee engagement initially?

JH:  We rolled out the communication in the middle of annual enrollment for the 2006 plan year. Our main challenge was disseminating the information to those who might be interested, as the general employee meetings had already taken place once our vendor confirmed the final list of drugs.

CWM:  How did you combat that?

JH:  We used our field HR team to spread the word about the preventive list and made sure that our outsourced Benefits Center was armed with the information when employees called. Employees were definitely interested when they learned about the cost savings.

CWM:  What do you foresee for Pactiv’s wellness initiatives in the future?

JH:  Pactiv was acquired by Reynolds Group Holdings in November 2010. We have since created a common benefit platform for all employees (excluding bargained employees) for 2012. We have expanded our wellness program to include premium incentives for participating in biometric screenings and health assessments for employees (and their covered spouses). In addition, there is a “non-tobacco use” pledge that provides premium incentives for employees and spouses. As more than half of the employees are new to the wellness program eligibility for 2012, we are pleased to see well over 50% participation.

CWM:  We greatly appreciate your time and wish you well in your future endeavors. Congratulations again on receiving the 2011 leadership award!

This month, Corporate Wellness Magazine also had the chance to sit down with Susan Doherty, Program Manager of Health Management for Jack in the Box.  Doherty was presented with the Corporate Wellness Leadership Award on behalf of Jack in the Box for their “Jack in the Box/Qdoba Wellness Rewards Program.” In partnership with BioIQ, Jack in the Box offers employees who are enrolled in one of the company’s comprehensive medical plans biometric screenings - their gateway program for other rewards – in order to qualify for incentives which apply as credits to their medical premiums. Jack in the Box has seen an improvement in participation over last year’s gateway program and personal health assessments.

 

Corporate Wellness Magazine:  Why did Jack in the Box select BioIQ to partner with for the wellness initiatives?

Susan Doherty:  We carefully researched and reviewed several companies. We chose BioIQ to conduct our biometric screening program based on the simplicity of their approach, the quality of their website, and their pricing structure. We especially liked being able to see year-over-year trending through personal health dashboards. The online experience is very user friendly.

CWM:  Are employees really saving substantially on medical premiums?

SD:  Absolutely! Single employees (only) receive $10 per bi-weekly paycheck ($260 per year), and employees with a spouse (or domestic partner) covered receive $20 per bi-weekly paycheck ($520 per year). These rewards are for participating in the biometric screening only. Employees can also earn rewards if they - and their spouse or domestic partner - are tobacco free and participate in the Virgin HealthMiles program.

CWM:  Has employee engagement enhanced?

SD:  Yes. Last year we offered the gateway incentive for participating in a Health Risk Assessment. Our engagement level in the biometric screening is up over 200% compared to this same time last year.

CWM:  If so, what does your company accredit the increase to?

SD:  We have had improved communication through emails, home mailings, our new web-based benefits portal, and a broader awareness of our wellness programs year over year.

CWM:  How does Jack in the Box plan to evolve their wellness initiatives in the future?

SD:  This year, wellness rewards (incentives) are offered just for participating in the biometric screening. Employees can also receive rewards for completing a Tobacco Free Certification form. Next year, employees will receive a smaller reward for participating in the biometric screening, which will include tobacco testing (versus the honor form), but the bigger rewards will be outcomes-based. These outcomes will be generously set for the first year, becoming more stringent over time. This will allow our employees time to make necessary health and behavior changes to meet new goals.

CWM:  We wish you all the best in your upcoming pursuits. Congratulations on winning the 2011 Corporate Wellness Leadership Award!

Please help us focus our content and improve our website by taking our brief Wellness Survey.  For more information on the 2012 nominations - and/or how to submit nominations - you can contact us by clicking here.