This new program gives employees a bonus for saving money on healthcare

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Healthcare guidance and engagement company HealthJoy has launched HealthJoy Rewards, a new platform that allows employers to incentivize employees with a bonus for using cost effective healthcare services.

The program will suggest a healthcare facility and provider to the employee, and if the employee follows through on the recommendation, they are eligible to receive a financial reward.

“This has been something we have been thinking about and trying to do over the last two years,” says Doug Morse-Schindler, president and co-founder of HealthJoy. “One of the things we heard loud and clear from our client base is that they really wanted an easy and deployable way to provide more financial incentives for their employees to make more informed healthcare decisions.”

Following a pilot of the rewards program earlier this year, HealthJoy found the program saves employers $6 for every $1 spent administering the rewards. There are about a dozen clients using the platform currently, with more expected to join now that the program has launched.

There is a lack of transparency and wide variation in healthcare prices, Morse-Schindler says, and offering rewards to help people make better care decisions pays off for both the employer and employee.

HealthJoy provides clients a list of employees who are eligible for rewards with data provided by the provider or through the employee’s explanation of benefits. HealthJoy also provides the bonus amount an employee is eligible to receive.

Employers can decide how it will be distributed — typically it is through HSA or payroll contributions, though some clients occasionally opt for gift cards, Morse-Schindler says.

Rewards programs like this usually see employee utilization rates of 1% to 2%, Morse-Schindler says. The results HealthJoy has seen so far have been eight times that figure, he adds.

The rewards program is an add-on available to existing and new HealthJoy clients. The program will also utilize Joy, the company’s virtual assistant, to help engage and educate employees.

“With the emergence of high deductible health plans there’s more of an incentive for people to be better consumers of healthcare,” Morse-Schindler says.

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