According to the announcement, the prepaid healthcare solutions provider has launched the Wellness Rewards Program, which it calls “a simple, cost-effective and web-administered platform for employers to dispense wellness incentives program rewards”. The WiredBenefits Wellness Rewards Platform allows employers to load tax advantaged incentive reward dollars onto a Wellness Reward Card – a debit card to be used strictly for healthcare services, products and activities – which the firm says further encourages healthy behaviors, while “extending the reach of a company’s incentive dollars”.
The WiredBenefits Wellness Rewards Program differs from traditional incentive rewards, such as debit and retail gift cards, or merchandise and cash, in several ways, according to the firm:
- it can be completely tax-free and free of tax administration costs,
- employers maintain complete control over the funding of the reward, including targeting spending to healthcare products and services, and
- employers may retain control over unused funds or “breakage” on the cards.
The card is supported by an administrative web platform, which allows employers and other sponsors to manage their programs online. Employees can also access and manage their card balances via the personalized website.
“What’s happening today in health, happened 30 years ago with pensions: corporations pushed the accountability for retirement savings onto employees. Now we are gradually shifting the financial burden of health care onto employees,” explains Rick Lee, CEO of Healthrageous. “Firms like Wired Benefits are uniquely positioned to combine new financial structures with the emerging health and wellness program options to address the shifts occurring in employee benefits. We laud the innovative designs pioneered by Wired Benefits and how they complement the wellness designs that firms like ours are developing.”
“Employers are investing between $100 and $600 per employee per year in healthcare incentives,” said Charles Marshall, CEO of WiredBenefits, in the press release. “With the WiredBenefits Wellness Rewards Program and Wellness Reward Card, employers can maximize the return on their investment while providing additional, tax advantaged healthcare dollars to their employees.”
According to the announcement, the system offers the opportunity for employers to design unique programs that allow third parties to reward employees for reaching designated goals. The system can support any type of rewards or loyalty programs, according to a press release.
In addition retailers can opt-in to the program to offer special promotions and couponing to employee participants. The WiredBenefits Platform allows retailers or manufacturers to integrate these incentives and rewards with existing loyalty programs. Third parties, such as health advocacy groups, fitness or weight loss partners, health plans, retailers or PBMs, are able to load incentive awards and dollars onto individual cardholder accounts. For each health goal achieved, additional compensation is rewarded and can be used to further enhance employee health, according to the firm.
More information is available at http://www.wiredbenefits.com