On the walking track outside its corporate headquarters on Royal Little Drive in Providence, employees of AAA Southern New England can frequently be seen engaging in the company’s latest wellness challenge – a walking event – in which more than 725 of the firm’s 1,500 employees are participating. Pedometers, so they can measure their progress, are provided through UnitedHealthcare of New England, the self-insured company’s partner in its wellness program. The goal is have employees take 10,000 steps a day.
Every little step adds up, and the results are evident. Last year, according to Michelle Saunders, AAA’s director of workforce development, there were 325 participants who each lost 7 pounds.
AAA also has invested in having its employees complete personal health assessments, resulting in a decrease in the number of employees in the “at-risk” category. As an incentive, employees are offered a $20-a-month deduction in health insurance if they complete a PHA, resulting in 93 percent participation, according to Saunders.
In addition, if employees participate in another wellness event, an incentive program called PHA Plus 1, they can receive another $20 cut on their health insurance, for a total of $40 in monthly reductions.
AAA’s wellness initiatives are targeted as they are built upon claims data and health-assessment results. They seek to promote healthy lifestyles and, at the same time, control health care costs, according to Saunders. “We combine education with fun to encourage participation,” she said. “We talk about wellness from the first day you start work. •