Bringing consumer loyalty insights to wellness rewards and incentives programs

When it comes to designing your Medicare wellness rewards and incentives program, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel–take a page out of the best loyalty programs.

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For many commercial industries, programs and strategies that solidify the relationship with the consumer are nothing new. Airlines and hotels, for example, have been using rewards and incentive-based programs to build trust, affect consumer behavior and boost retention for years. Think of Delta SkyMiles or Starwood’s Preferred Guest Loyalty Program as examples.

Rewards and Incentives Programs get the green light for Medicare Advantage plans

Thanks in large part to new guidance from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Medicare Advantage plans are now able to offer similar opportunities to their members. In fact, for many plans, taking advantage of this new guidance can help impact Medicare Stars Ratings.

These regulations, announced by CMS in 2014, are welcome news for the industry, since treating members as consumers and utilizing a consumer-centric mindset is one of the best ways that plans can differentiate themselves in a crowded marketplace. However, the specifics of what can be rewarded includes some stipulations. The goal for CMS and for Medicare Advantage plans is to “encourage enrollees to be actively engaged in their health care and, ultimately, improve and sustain their overall health and well-being.” In Medicaid, many states also allow rewards and incentives programs to promote wellness (some even require it), and the trend is toward more and more states supporting R&I programs.

How to incent healthy behaviors with wellness rewards

So when it comes to a rewards and incentives within your member population, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. Take a page out of Fortune 500 companies’ best loyalty programs by following these 7 steps:

  1. Identify the business objective.
  2. Identify the behavior(s) necessary to accomplish the business objective.
  3. Segment the right population.
  4. Determine the values that are most likely to motivate individuals to take care of their health through wellness programs and preventive screenings.
  5. Provide ongoing engagement that maintains the program’s visibility.
  6. Use technology to deliver a seamless, cross-channel experience.
  7. Measure the program outcome against the identified objectives and make any necessary changes.

Take your program to the next level

Member incentives aren’t just good business–they can make a real impact on quality measures like HEDIS, CAHPS and Medicare Stars.

Ready to learn more about how to put these strategies into action? Our white paper, “Driving Healthy Behavior through Rewards and Incentives Programs” is now available.

download the white paper


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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