HealthPartners Eliminates Gym Reimbursements, Unveils Virtual Fitness Concept
For years, people with HealthPartners insurance could get a $20 reimbursement on their gym membership by going 12 times a month. But come Jan. 1, 2020, HealthPartners is doing away with its “Frequent Fitness” reimbursement program for the 110,000 people on its small group plan.
“On a month-to-month basis, five percent or fewer of our members actually received that reimbursement for Frequent Fitness,” said Trystan Hansen, HealthPartners’ well-being product manager. “We were missing a huge part of our population with our previous model.”
The Frequent Fitness program reimbursement was supposed to motivate people to exercise, but with such low participation, Hansen says it wasn’t working.
“When you have a busy week and your schedule gets out of control, three times a week seems like quite a bit, especially if people are having to drive to get to the gym,” Hansen said.
Bottom line, getting to the gym wasn’t convenient for everyone. Now, HealthPartners is replacing Frequent Fitness with a virtual fitness program that allows people to exercise from home.
HealthPartners Unveils Virtual Fitness Through Wellbeats
Wellbeats is an on-demand fitness provider based in St. Louis Park that brings hundreds of exercise routines to your smartphone or tablet.
“We have traditional fitness classes like yoga, pilates or cycling, or HIIT classes,” said Jen Zygmunt, Wellbeats senior VP of sales and marketing.
Come Jan. 1, many on HealthPartners insurance will be able to access Wellbeats’ 500-plus exercise videos free of charge.
“We’re really great at being able to reach a broad population with fitness solutions that really fit people’s lives, and so the partnership with HealthPartners was a natural fit,” Zygmunt said.
The hope is that it will also be a natural fit for those who couldn’t find the motivation to get to a traditional gym.
“If people are active, they’re going to be healthier in the long haul, which is beneficial for us as a health plan, and for our clinics as well,” Hansen said.
HealthPartners will also provide discounts for gym memberships through a program called GlobalFit. However, Life Time Fitness and the YMCA are not part of the GlobalFit network.