Thursday, April 10, 2008

Earn Money While You Get Healthy!!!

Healthy Lifestyle Rewards Program - Blue Shield Vs. Kaiser Permanente

There are a couple of incentive programs occurring currently with Kaiser Permanente (HMO) and Blue Shield of California (HMO and PPO) medical insurance companies.

Blue Shield

Has an online, interactive program that has "tools" to help one get fit, lower stress, and/or quit that pesky smoking habit (me..yes, guilty still.)

Basically, the program requires you to sign on to their website ( and fill out a "Wellness Assessment". By filling out the assessment, you get $50!!! Sign onto the program and keep checking in and using their resources/tools on the website every week to update your profile with the fitness progress that you're making, you can earn up to $200 in one year. It's still a great incentive for a few minutes of your time and what disadvantages could there be?? You're working towards a healthier you, and we all know that keeping track of your efforts can definitely keep you on the right and LONG-lasting path to a healthier you.

I wish I had Blueshield medical insurance, darn.

Kaiser Permanente

They're cheaper. In terms of their rewards (potential rewards, in this case) and in terms of their service costs and quality of service. I've always been a Kaiser member ever since I got medical insurance because they're cheaper but lately, I've been wondering if I should move to Blue Shield PPO due to me getting older as well as the growing medical problems I seem to be blessed with lately.

Their "incentive" program is that they give you CHANCES to win rewards if you fill out an online "Total Health Assessment". Go to their website and sign up for a kaiser online account with your medical account number ( Click on "Be rewarded for living well". Fill out the form and open the health guide designed to whatever you filled out in the assessment, which will enter you into the drawings.

There are five seperate drawings, so you have five seperate chances to winning multiple rewards.

The rewards are as follows:

* $500 certificate
* $500 (REI, Sportsmart, or Big 5) sports store certificate (This is the only thing i want to win, since I really really want a mountain bike)
* An 80GB color screen iPod

I definitely prefer the Blue Shield's rewards program, because it fits the definition of an incentive program more than Kaiser's, which is just a lottery-type drawing. You're pretty much garanteed to earn $50 by completing the assessment. In addition, Blue Shield's program encourages long-term behavior by giving you continued incentives to keep track of your health progress through out the year and rewarding you monetarily throughout the program's length.


  1. I have BlueCross/BlueShield, and I've tried to do some of the wellness assessment things on the site. Problem is, the site is really cumbersome and hard to navigate. And I didn't even know you could get $200 just for completing the assessment! We had a rep come speak to us recently and she told us about the new program, where you can earn BluePoints for tracking eating and exercise online and can redeem them for things. I've tried to do it but it's really complicated and frustrating. I should probably give it another try, though -- it's hard to turn down free stuff :)

  2. Emily, you should definitely give it another try! You don't get $200 bucks for completing the assessment, but just $50 bucks. The site is very confusing, I agree, or I've heard from the Blue Shield members. Over the course of the year, if you keep track of your exercise and diet efforts, you can earn up to $200. That's much better than Kaiser's (what I have) plan :(.

  3. There is little incentive (no pun intended) for insurance companies to provide effective wellness programs. It's not surprising that you find the website confusing. That's a common complaint from my former insurance clients.

    I wish you luck with your efforts to "earn money while you get healthy". The true reward comes from improved health and well-being associated with the changes you make.

    All the best,

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