Survey: Most wellness plans not managing costs for consumers

Wellness is all the rage these days, particularly from the investment and payer perspectives, but exactly how well received the catch-all concept is with consumers remains somewhat murky. HealthMine, formerly SeeChange Health, as such recently sought to quantify consumer attitudes on wellness plans. The San Francisco-based health IT company found that while such plans can […]

Wellness is all the rage these days, particularly from the investment and payer perspectives, but exactly how well received the catch-all concept is with consumers remains somewhat murky.

HealthMine, formerly SeeChange Health, as such recently sought to quantify consumer attitudes on wellness plans. The San Francisco-based health IT company found that while such plans can be effective in managing costs, only 35 percent of respondents said were in a wellness plan that included both lifestyle management and disease management tools.

While 70 percent of respondents said their wellness plan helped them manage health, just 38 percent said it helped them manage healthcare costs. In addition, 71 percent said they were in the program to care for their health as a primary incentive.

Many wellness plans are initiated with monitoring devices like fitbits, but less than half, 45 percent, of wellness plans automatically update data from tracking devices — despite the fact that 70 percent of respondents said their wellness plans were based on completing exercise-related activities.

Only 36 percent of consumers engaged weekly with their wellness plans, suggesting barriers still need to be overcome for wide-scale adoption. To that end, less than half, 44 percent, said they were engaged the entire year. Another 30 percent engaged on a monthly basis.

The HealthMine survey was fielded by Survey Sampling International and was completed by 806 Americans with sponsored wellness plans, ages 26-64. It had a margin of error of 3.5 percent.

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