Redesigning Benefit Structure to Integrate Employee Access

When Icario started working with this self-insured, Alabama-based employer, the goal was simple: to launch a wellness incentive program. At that time the client was already o­ffering a step challenge, but it was using one of Icario’s competitors.

It didn’t take long for the Icario team to prove they could handle both initiatives. But there was a hitch behind the scenes: The wellness incentive program and step tracking couldn’t be integrated.

The reason for this was the employer’s benefit structure. Employees covered by the company insurance plan could access both offerings, but those who hadn’t elected coverage could participate only in the step challenge.


A Wellness and Incentive Program That Rewards Employees Through a Health Action Hub

The reason Icario is the leading health action company is due to its ability to motivate people to take positive steps toward improving their lives and overall health. For this employer, that meant bringing all benefit and wellness incentives under one umbrella to reduce complexity and create a one-stop shop.

By promoting all services employees have access to in the Health Action Hub (health coaching, telemedicine, and maternity programs, to name a few), Icario enables clients to maximize their investment in these benefits, achieve higher utilization, and support employee health. Here’s how it works for this organization.

Icario worked with the client to combine their once-separate wellness initiatives. The new, refreshed program presented an opportunity to offer additional activities to all employees while supporting a 2-tier incentive approach.

Employees enrolled in the insurance plan can earn up to $700/year, and those who didn’t elect coverage can earn up to $500/year. These funds go straight into each employee’s paycheck, enabling them to spend their rewards however they choose.

The team decided to add the element of friendly competition to increase interest and engagement. From quarterly step challenges to ad-hoc wellness and mindfulness tasks, the client now uses gamification techniques to keep the program interesting and fun.

This interactive element includes integrating smart devices to track activity and synchronize steps with active challenges. Those who don’t have a device and want to purchase one can use a discount voucher at a special online store.

Employees can also access lifestyle management modules to learn about weight control, healthy eating habits, and how to monitor chronic conditions. 

Finally, a monthly employee newsletter highlights the latest features and activities available in the Health Action Hub to keep the program top of mind. Employees can also use the hub to learn about any new, pop-up challenges they can participate in to earn rewards.

COVID-19 Vaccination Incentives

As healthcare facilities across the country are now actively administering the COVID-19 vaccine, many employers are trying to determine the best way to encourage individuals to get vaccinated. This client decided that as of April 2021, all employees are eligible for an additional incentive of $100 once they are fully vaccinated.

By integrating with this employer’s vendor, Icario processes a file to establish who is eligible to receive the extra reward and conveys that information to the client’s payroll. This way employees can receive their incentives as soon as the data is processed in the system.


Healthier Employees, Healthier Bottom Line

In the first two months of the partnership, the Icario team and its client saw a measurable increase in employees accessing much-needed services through their Health Action Hub:


increase in sign-up rates


increase in engagement, as measured by pageviews


overall engagement rates

Given the impact of coaching on key metrics such as blood sugar control, weight management, medication adherence, stress reduction, and musculoskeletal pain management, this increased engagement represents a big win for both employee health and the employer’s bottom line.

Looking at the client’s overall 60% engagement rates, it’s clear the program is successful. It motivates employees to take important health actions, proving the partnership with Icario is a valuable one.