Building an Engaging, Cost-Efficient Program Through Data-Informed Personalization

Recognized as one of the top large employers in the U.S., this client had been running a wellness incentive program for its widespread employee base since 2016. But the program suffered from low engagement rates and failed to produce the desired results for several reasons.

First, it was expensive. Second, it was generic and didn’t focus on the unique needs and requirements of the people it targeted. Third, it centered around a poorly received, winner-takes-all annual sweepstakes.

The self-insured employer needed to revitalize the program to make it more relevant and engaging for members—while keeping costs down.


Incentivizing Key Health Actions with Unique Rewards

This client looked to Icario to build a cost-efficient, engaging wellness program that would invigorate employees and help them engage more actively in their journey toward better health.

Icario began by helping the client identify members’ specific needs and introduce key program elements to address these needs. This included an emphasis on incentivizing completion of key health actions.

The Icario team analyzed client-provided data to assign specific attributes to each member and help individuals focus on conditions and activities that required immediate action, such as preventive screenings.

This employer also wanted to introduce unique non-denomination rewards. Alongside points and dollars, employees can earn rewards by completing critical health actions. 

In addition to preventive screenings, these can include Annual Wellness Visits, vaccinations, and more. Each program participant must complete at least 1 key health action to be rewarded, regardless of the number of points or dollars they’ve accumulated.

Using the Icario mobile app, employees can monitor their activity levels, take part in various challenges (hydration, step tracking, self-care, etc.), and stay on track with their personalized wellness journey.

With Icario’s help, the client was able to redesign the program and rebuild it around employee-specific health needs and locally available resources.

Working with the client, Icario:

  • Put the focus on closing gaps in care and completing health actions
  • Introduced new walking programs and challenges around the client’s premises 
  • Encouraged employees to take part in local events and health fairs 
  • Updated the incentive structure of the program 
  • Started offering rewards that were much more meaningful to each individual

An estimated 84% of large employers (200+ workers) that offer health benefits also offer a workplace wellness incentive program.


Getting Employees Engaged in Their Health

Icario was able to prove that running a multi-currency program doesn’t have to be cumbersome and that the setup and administration of this type of initiative can be done efficiently and effectively.

In fact, Icario helped the client reach out and engage members despite the unexpected obstacles of the COVID-19 pandemic, such as working remotely and having disconnected employees who were unable to collaborate in person.

Instead of the sweepstakes, where only 1 person could win the grand prize, now each program participant can receive a one-time, end-of-year payout of up to $350. 

Since the incentive structure is divided into 3 tiers, employees can decide how much they want to engage with the program and how much they earn throughout the year. Although only 4% of participants go for the highest prize, 70% still earn a $50 reward and are far more engaged in their health.

As more members take part in the program, it becomes more cost effective and successful. By providing lifestyle and behavioral coaching, the program has helped employees lose weight, stop smoking—and lead healthier lives.