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Engagement packages attached to employer-sponsored health plans are a growing trend, especially as the importance of employees taking active control over their health becomes more apparent. Empowering employees to engage in preventative care, manage any pre-existing conditions, and pursue fitness and weight-loss goals can lower the healthcare cost burden in the long term. In the short term, however, it is often difficult to know what forms of engagement will resonate with employees--and how much they would be willing to pay for them. 

Our client, a health insurance carrier, offered several engagement packages to help employees manage their health. However, the packages were not gaining traction as much as was expected. Our client turned to C+R for help in understanding what employees were looking for in a health engagement plan.

To answer this question, we created a multi-method study targeting key stakeholders--brokers, employers, and employees--to learn what features and price points were most attractive in health engagement plans. Based on the findings, C+R was able to provide actionable recommendations to help drive participation in the engagement plans.

Problem

Our client, a health insurance provider, had created several engagement packages designed to address employee behaviors regarding preventative care, condition management, and fitness activities. However, the packages were experiencing lower than expected participation rates. 

To understand why -- and to increase participation-- our client wanted to speak with various stakeholders (specifically brokers, employers, and employees) to understand their motivations and barriers to purchasing engagement packages in general, as well as to learn about the specific product configurations and pricing that would be most attractive to customers. 

Result

Our client gained both general insights into the motivators and barriers to purchasing health engagement packages and specific insights into which product configurations and pricing options were the most attractive to self-insured, large group employers. Based on these findings, we were able to recommend several steps our client could take to help increase participation in their wellness solutions.

Solution

C+R created a two-phase, multi-methodological research plan. Phase 1 consisted of 15 webcam-based interviews with brokers and employers representing a variety of backgrounds. Each interview lasted 45 minutes. Participants included current client members and non-members located across our client's footprint. They were 21+, employed full-time, and were either insurance brokers or were health plan decision-makers for their companies. All had been in their role for at least one year. Of the employers, half of those recruited purchased wellness benefits, and half did not. 

The respondents were interviewed about the top challenges, motivators, and barriers related to employee wellness programs, including their perceptions of available wellness programs and what they felt was missing (to identify whitespace opportunities).

In the second phase of the research, we created a self-administered online survey and distributed it to 1000 respondents. The survey took approximately 15 minutes to complete. Half of the respondents were employers who were the health plan decision-makers for their companies, and half were employees.  All of the respondents were aged 21+, worked full-time in our client's footprint, and had been in their role for at least one year. The companies represented were large, with between 500-4999 employees. 

After answering some demographic questions, the respondents discussed their current utilization of wellness benefits plans and reacted to an unbranded wellness solutions concept. They then completed a discrete choice exercise where they compared several wellness solutions features and price points and were asked to choose their most preferred combinations.

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