You’ve utilized insights from consumer loyalty programs and chosen your healthy behaviors. Your wellness rewards and incentives program is well on its way—but in the midst of watching your member engagement strategy take shape, the question of “how much is too much?” is bound to come up. Since gift cards and reloadable debit cards are becoming increasingly popular choices for wellness rewards programs, this question is especially pertinent.

Along with it will spring up a few of its friends: “how much is too little?” and “how much does it take to motivate our members?”

When it comes to valuing your wellness rewards, it’s easy (and business savvy) to want the Goldilocks of rewards values: the amount that is just right.

Here’s the good news: we’ve done the research for you. NovuHealth asked more than 1,000 Medicare Advantage beneficiaries about their ideal reward for certain wellness activities, including mammograms, colon cancer screenings, cholesterol measurements and, for people with diabetes, regular A1C measurements and annual eye exams—and the results surprised us.

1. Sometimes less is more

Intuitively, it might feel safe to assume that the more you can offer your members for completing a certain healthy behavior, the better. However, we found that people were more likely to engage in most wellness activities for a $25 gift card.

2. The type of healthy behavior matters

While a $25 gift card hit the sweet spot for the majority of healthy behaviors, one wellness activity proved to be an outlier: the colon cancer screening.

As a higher barrier activity, the higher dollar amount needed to motivate the member makes sense. Wellness activities that are uncomfortable, time-consuming or invasive will require more to move the member to action. However, closing these gaps in care is often most valuable—both to member health and plan bottom line.

3. Reward values are not one-size-fits-all

Even with “ideal” reward values, the way to make sure you’re getting the optimal return on your investment is to dynamically target your members. NovuHealth’s platform can target based on demographic and geographic data, as well as past activities, a feature that plans often use to monitor interactions with members and rewards over time so they can provide point-in-time communications.


About NovuHealth
NovuHealth is the leading healthcare consumer engagement company, offering rewards and incentive programs that improve consumer health and plan performance. NovuHealth applies proven loyalty and data science strategies and leverages its deep industry and regulatory expertise to motivate high-value consumer activities. Headquartered in Minneapolis, NovuHealth has worked with nearly 40 health plans and served more than 15 million consumers across all 50 states. Learn more at

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