Digital health resources bring the promise of helping employers manage their employee population’s health, resulting in improved outcomes and medical cost savings. How can employers increase and maintain engagement overtime?
At the Pittsburgh Business Group on Health Annual Symposium, we were joined by Rich Krutsch, Vice President of People Services at ArcBest, for a discussion on which strategies achieve strong engagement at benefit launch and insights into driving higher sustained engagement over time.
With roughly 8,500 covered lives across more than 240 locations in all 50 states, it might be surprising to learn that ArcBest is achieving an outstanding 84 percent registration rate! On top of that, pre-COVID-19 they sustained a 60 percent average monthly return rate. Even during the pandemic, ArcBest had above average monthly return rates of 40 percent.
What is the secret to ArcBest’s success?
1. Centralized Resources
One easy way to simplify the healthcare experience for employees and to engage them is to make it easy to find available resources. While point solutions can add value, if employees are not aware, or able to easily access, they go underutilized.
ArcBest implemented Castlight Complete as one central hub for all benefits, information on current deductibles, out-of-pocket (OOP) payments, claims information, and care navigation. Other resources, like telehealth and health coaching, are integrated into the platform so employees can easily find care and utilize other wellness resources.
Having a centralized resource has been important during COVID-19. ArcBest added a number of new wellbeing programs to address changing needs—including nutrition, maternity, behavioral health, and financial wellbeing.
2. Incentive Design
ArcBest has two health plan tracks: Choice Wellness and Choice Basic. Choice Wellness has the added advantages of a monthly premium credit, lower deductibles, and a lower OOP maximum.
To qualify for Choice Wellness, employees must reach a certain threshold of points by completing various wellness activities. Employees are incentivized to complete a preventive care visit and biometric screenings, with these two activities having the largest point values.
Of course, COVID-19 has had its impact on wellness activities. Some employees aren’t as comfortable going in person for certain services, and it has also evolved health and wellness needs and priorities. In response, ArcBest has:
- Added more options to get to the points threshold
- Awarded points for activities that are no longer accessible
- Made plans to roll out at home biometric screening
3. Wellness Amplifiers
Lastly, ArcBest has “wellness amplifiers” that act as an extra motivation on top of the incentive design to motivate employees to engage in their health.
An activity tracker credit is important to demonstrate commitment from the company to employees, and enables participation in activities like tracking steps. Challenges offer a fun, gamified way to get people active. And with rewards, employees can redeem earned points in-app for tangible rewards, making a direct link between actions they take and positive reinforcement.
COVID-19 presents new challenges, but also new opportunities to engage people in their health. ArcBest launched a steps challenge over the summer to encourage people to get active and re-engage in their health. This program saw strong participation with registration rates of 44 percent.
By engaging their employees, ArcBest is able to motivate employees to manage their health and wellbeing—and they see positive impact as a result.
ArcBest has high engagement across all of their programs. Preventive care and biometric screenings, the two activities with the highest wellness points, see engagement of 88 percent and 85 percent, respectively. This demonstrates the effectiveness of their incentive design.
Employees on the Castlight platform are receiving the right care. In fact, employees using Castlight are 27 percent more likely to receive a preventive care visit than non-users. They also have 26 percent fewer emergency room visits than non-users.
As costs continue to rise, return on investment is important in a benefits platform. ArcBest saw 1.17 million in cost savings in 2019. This included savings across the spectrum of risk, from very low-risk members to high-risk.