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    Hy-Vee Unveils New Health Insurance Option

    Blue Rewards integrates coverage, services

    By Bridget Goldschmidt, Stagnito Business Information

    Hy-Vee Inc. has joined forces with Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield and UnityPoint Health on a collaboratively designed health insurance plan that aims to reward Iowa customers for healthy behaviors. Blue Rewards combines the coordinated care of the UnityPoint health provider network with the one-stop convenience of Hy-Vee's pharmacy, better-for-you food, wellness and dietitian services in an Affordable Care Act (ACA)-health insurance choice from Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield.

    "This collaboration is part of our strategy to keep health care local and sustainable, and promote health through convenience," explained Laura Jackson, EVP for health care innovation and business development at Des Moines-based Wellmark. "We know consumers turn to brands they know and trust, which makes this collaboration among three strong Iowa brands even more meaningful for Iowans."

    In common with other ACA plans, members will be able to select from Bronze, Silver and Gold levels of care. Members will have access to Wellmark's doctor and hospital network, with the lowest out-of-pocket costs when they pick a UnityPoint Health-connected provider or hospital and fill prescriptions at Hy-Vee pharmacies.

    The first-of-its-kind concept in Iowa will be available for individuals and small businesses to buy during the 2015 open enrollment periods, which begin Nov. 15 and Oct. 1, respectively. Pending regulatory approval, consumers will be able to find Blue Rewards products during open enrollment via authorized Wellmark agents or on the company's website. Additional product information will be available before the 2015 open-enrollment period.

    "At UnityPoint Health, our commitment to the communities we serve is to help get them to their healthiest state possible with preventive solutions and access to quality health care providers," noted Kevin Vermeer, EVP and chief strategy officer at the health system, based in West Des Moines. "We believe our approach, a coordinated care model, will be enhanced through this collaboration."

    Among the specific services that Hy-Vee will provide for members are health assessments, wellness screenings, nutrition counseling and making healthful foods available.

    "Hy-Vee is committed to helping our customers live healthy lifestyles," said Sheila Laing, SVP of health and wellness solutions for the West Des Moines-based grocer, an employee-owned corporation operating 237 retail stores in eight Midwestern states. "This collaboration pairs Hy-Vee's dietitian services, pharmacy solutions and healthy food offerings with two companies who share our commitment to community wellness."

     

     

    By Bridget Goldschmidt, Stagnito Business Information
    • About Bridget Goldschmidt In addition to serving as Progressive Grocer’s Managing Editor, Bridget writes many print and digital features encompassing a range of grocery and fresh categories across the store. Bridget also enjoys on-site reporting assignments at such key industry events as the New York Fancy Food Show and the International Boston Seafood Show, in addition to visiting stores for PG’s prestigious Store of the Month feature. In her years with the magazine, she has developed into a knowledgeable voice on grocery industry trends, sought by such distinguished publications as The New York Times.

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