Hidden gems in your health insurance plan

September 15, 2017 by Julie Davis, Healthday Reporter

(HealthDay)—You might only think about your health insurance coverage when it's time for a doctor visit. But there may be many hidden health gems in your policy—wellness programs.

Usually offered through your employer, are designed to improve your health and help you avoid chronic conditions or better manage ones that you may already be battling.

About half of all U.S. employers offer wellness initiatives, according to a study sponsored by the federal Department of Labor and the Department of Health and Human Services. They include such programs as ways to help you manage diabetes or lose weight, screenings to identify , and interventions to promote a healthy lifestyle.

But few people take advantage of these benefits, especially programs to uncover and treat health conditions, even when they're free. Yet participation can make a difference in your quality of life and help you reach your .

Nutrition, smoking cessation, fitness, combating substance abuse and stress management are the programs offered most often, the study found. Some employers offer incentives to encourage you to join, from cash to prizes.

So, take a few minutes to look at your health insurance provider's website to see what's available. Even if you're self-insured, you might be paying for benefits you're not aware of.

You might be pleasantly surprised. Benefits may include reimbursement or discounted costs for joining a gym or having a session with a registered dietitian to craft a weight loss plan.

Also, remember to take advantage of any wellness visits with your healthcare provider and screenings that are included in your plan and not subject to the deductible.

Explore further: Wellness visits for better well-being

More information: The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation details workplace wellness programs.

Related Stories

Wellness visits for better well-being

August 21, 2017
(HealthDay)—If you want to stay on top of your health, no matter what your age, it's important to see your doctor for a regular wellness visit—typically a yearly check-up that takes a head-to-toe look at you as a whole ...

Employer-sponsored wellness programs on the rise

March 22, 2012
Organizations in the Chicago area report an increase of health-improvement and wellness programs according to a survey conducted in September 2011 by Aon Hewitt in partnership with Rush Health. The survey results will be ...

Final rules on employment wellness programs released

June 4, 2013
(HealthDay)—The final rules on employment-based wellness programs, which support workplace health promotion and prevention as a way of limiting health care costs and reducing the burden of chronic disease, have been released ...

Financial incentives OK'd for workplace wellness programs (Update)

April 16, 2015
In a victory for business, federal regulators said Thursday that employers can continue to use financial penalties and rewards to nudge staff to participate in fast-growing workplace wellness programs.

Workplace wellness programs can cut chronic illness costs

January 6, 2014
Workplace wellness programs can lower health care costs in workers with chronic diseases, but components of the programs that encourage workers to adopt healthier lifestyles may not reduce health costs or lead to lower net ...

Recommended for you

Three million Americans carry loaded handguns daily, study finds

October 19, 2017
An estimated 3 million adult American handgun owners carry a firearm loaded and on their person on a daily basis, and 9 million do so on a monthly basis, new research indicates. The vast majority cited protection as their ...

More teens than ever aren't getting enough sleep

October 19, 2017
If you're a young person who can't seem to get enough sleep, you're not alone: A new study led by San Diego State University Professor of Psychology Jean Twenge finds that adolescents today are sleeping fewer hours per night ...

Across Asia, liver cancer is linked to herbal remedies: study

October 18, 2017
Researchers have uncovered widespread evidence of a link between traditional Chinese herbal remedies and liver cancer across Asia, a study said Wednesday.

Eating better throughout adult years improves physical fitness in old age, suggests study

October 18, 2017
People who have a healthier diet throughout their adult lives are more likely to be stronger and fitter in older age than those who don't, according to a new study led by the University of Southampton.

Global calcium consumption appears low, especially in Asia

October 18, 2017
Daily calcium intake among adults appears to vary quite widely around the world in distinct regional patterns, according to a new systematic review of research data ahead of World Osteoporosis Day on Friday, Oct. 20.

New study: Nearly half of US medical care comes from emergency rooms

October 17, 2017
Nearly half of all US medical care is delivered by emergency departments, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM). And in recent years, the percentage of care delivered ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.