Want To Get Paid To Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions?

         According to the Statistic Brain Research Institute about 58 percent of us make New Year’s resolutions. Most involve losing weight and eating healthier, but only about 10 percent of us keep at them all year long.

         What would happen if you could actually get paid to stick to those health-centric declarations? Penny S. Walker, M.D., senior medical director, UnitedHealthcare-Southeast Region, said it’s now easier than ever to get financially compensated for cathartic commitments.

         “That is the goal behind new products in the growing health and wellness industry, which is leveraging technology to help make it easier for people to maintain and improve their health,” Dr. Walker said. “To help people improve their health and save money in 2017, there are five ways you can use technology that may enhance personal and financial well-being.”

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         Dr. Walker said the market for fitness tracker wearable-technology is booming, and the industry’s value is expected to reach $31.2 billion by the end of 2020. “This is good news for consumers as wearable devices enable people to track their daily steps, monitor their heart rates and analyze sleep patterns,” she said.

         If your employer’s wellness program includes using fitness trackers, some employees can earn up to $1,500 per year in incentives by meeting specific daily walking goals. And at www.achievemint.com, you can earn $10 for every 10,000 points accrued for walking, exercising, weighing yourself, sleeping and contributing to health research.

         Another way to cash in is to take advantage of other workplace wellness rewards including gift cards, lower health insurance premiums, cash bonuses and discounts on gym memberships. “The value of corporate wellness incentives has increased to $693 per employee, up from $430 five years ago,” Dr. Walker said. “However, a study found that fewer than half of eligible employees earned the full incentive, with workers leaving millions of dollars of unclaimed rewards.”

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         Taking time to comparison shop for health care goods and services based on quality and costs can also help waistlines and wallets. Dr. Walker recommends the Health4Me app, available on iPhone and Android devices. She said this app enables users to search for physicians or facilities by location or specialty, locate urgent care clinics and ERs, estimate medication costs, manage prescription claims, locate pharmacies and find hospital quality information to help make an informed decision about the best place to get care.

         Mobile apps can also help save time and money if you try to schedule a virtual doctor’s appointment. “The cost of a video-based virtual visit is usually less than $50 and may provide significant savings when compared to costs for similar minor medical needs treated at a doctor’s office, approximately $80, urgent care facility, approximately $160, or emergency room, approximately $650,” Dr. Walker said.

         Through using apps like Teladoc, Doctor on Demand and MDLive, consumers can obtain a diagnosis and prescriptions for minor medical conditions including allergies, sinus and bladder infections and bronchitis.

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         Last, Dr. Walker recommends ensuring you have financial protection to get through an unforeseen medical issue. “A life, disability or critical illness and accident insurance policy may provide peace of mind so you can focus on getting better,” she said. “Some Americans are underinsured or lack life insurance altogether to help protect an important asset – their ability to earn an income.”


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