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Scripps Wellness program rewards employees for healthy behavior

The Scripps Wellness program helps employees learn how to take small steps to improve their health and rewards them with reduced insurance premiums. By registering on the Scripps Wellness Web site and creating a profile, employees and their families have personalized health information and resources to support healthy goals such as weight loss, increased physical activity, healthy eating, stress reduction and quitting smoking. About 12,700 employees participate in the program. Employee wellness benefits include:

Online wellness assessment -- After taking about 15 minutes to answer a series of questions about their health and habits, employees receive personalized feedback about how to maintain or improve their health.

On-site biometric screenings -- Free screenings are available annually at more than 20 worksites for employees to check their blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose. Home test kits are available for those who are not able to attend an on-site screen. When employees enter their biometric results into their online wellness assessment, they get a comprehensive report about their health status and how they can improve it. Last year, 7125 employees participated in the screenings.

Healthy living programs -- These 10 personalized, online, self-paced programs help employees make small changes that lead to big results such as weight loss, quitting smoking, stress reduction and healthy eating habits.

Health coaching -- To help employees achieve specific health goals, Scripps offers free, telephone based, one-on-one coaching with a personal health coach. This benefit is available to all employees, spouses, domestic partners and dependents over the age of 18.

On-site fitness classes -- At its largest sites, Scripps offers free exercise classes before and after work and at lunch. Classes include Yoga, Pilates, core conditioning and more. Local gym memberships are also subsidized.

Massage program -- Employees are eligible for six free 15-minute chair massages a year and can purchase additional sessions. Last year, employees received more than 30,000 massages at 31 locations.

Activity challenges -- By participating in at least one of four organized activity challenges per year, employees earn points required for insurance premium reductions. These fun challenges encourage healthy eating, exercise and stress reduction.

Since the program's inception in 2006, employee risk from physical inactivity, elevated cholesterol and consumption of a diet high in fat and low in fruits and vegetables have all decreased significantly. Participants have also earned more than $2 million in incentives. Health insurance costs decreased by 5 percent over the past year, and Scripps avoided more than $4 million in medical costs through risk reduction.

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