Consumer / Employer, Payers

UnitedHealthcare Launches Rewards Program With Wearable Devices

UnitedHealthcare Rewards members can earn up to $1,000 per year by meeting daily activity goals, tracking sleep and fulfilling other one-time health activities. The program is intended to incentivize healthy habits, the insurer said.


By simply completing a health survey or meeting step goals, some UnitedHealthcare members can now receive rewards of up to $1,000 per year. On Wednesday, the payer unveiled its new rewards program, which leverages incentives and wearable devices to encourage healthy habits.

The program is available to select employers with fully insured plans, with more employers to be added later in 2023. Those who are enrolled can use an activity tracker, smartphone or smartwatch. UnitedHealthcare Rewards members can earn up to $1,000 per year for fulfilling the following activities:

  • Completing at least 5,000 steps a day (with additional incentives for 10,000 steps or more a day)
  • Completing 15 minutes or more of an exercise activity a day (with additional incentives for 30 minutes or more)
  • Tracking sleep for 14 nights
  • Getting a biometric screening
  • Completing a health survey
  • Selecting paperless billing

In order to earn the full $1,000, members have to complete all of the movement goals each day, as well as the one-time activities. The rewards can be added to a prepaid debit card or put into a health savings account.

The insurer chose to create the rewards program to incentivize wellbeing, said Samantha Baker, chief consumer officer for UnitedHealthcare’s commercial business. While 90% of employees have access to wellbeing programs from their employer, only 23% are taking advantage of them, a recent study found. 

“UnitedHealthcare Rewards is designed to change that by spurring engagement through a combination of daily incentive and gamification, and by using a broad definition of what it means to pursue health,” Baker wrote in an email. “Compared to some traditional wellness programs that only offer virtual coins or year-end opportunities to earn incentives by meeting certain markers of health (e.g., body mass index, non-nicotine use), UnitedHealthcare Rewards enables members to earn incentives each day by completing various daily health goals and one-time activities.”

UnitedHealthcare hopes to make the rewards program available to 3 million members by the end of the year, and also plans to expand it to self-funded plans in 2024, Baker added.

“Our goal with UnitedHealthcare Rewards is to motivate our members to get and stay engaged in their health … We’ve designed UnitedHealthcare Rewards to give members meaningful opportunities to engage on a daily basis and reward them with real value for healthy behavior that can be used however they want or to help pay for medical expenses,” Baker said. “For employers offering UnitedHealthcare Rewards, we expect the program to help cultivate a culture of wellness, bolster productivity and help achieve overall better health for our members.”

Photo: LDProd, Getty Images