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Healthy Savings, the healthy foods discount technology that successfully piloted in Minnesota and Wisconsin, is now rolling out to 100,000 households throughout northern Illinois and northwest Indiana.
UnitedHealthcare (UHC) is distributing Healthy Savings cards in the mail this week to all eligible plan participants in Illinois, in an effort to help eliminate the cost barrier to eating well. With Healthy Savings, customers can save more than $150 per month on pre-qualified healthy foods, including fresh produce, milk, bread, lean meats, cheese, yogurt, and other healthy staples from more than 140 participating food and beverage brands, according to the company. Shoppers scan their card at checkout and receive the savings immediately without ever clipping, clicking or downloading coupons.
Beginning in August, the preloaded card can be used to redeem savings across 250 participating retailers in Illinois, including Jewel-Osco, Mariano’s and Shop ‘n Save. Niemann Foods Inc. County Markets stores will be added in the fall, according to Healthy Savings.
Illinois is the third market to introduce the program, which was introduced in 2013 in Minnesota. The cards are already being used by 200,000 Medica-insured individuals in Minnesota and 650,000 UHC-insured individuals in Wisconsin.
The food items considered for discounts were determined using the nationally recognized Guiding Stars nutrition guidance system, which rates the nutritional density of foods using information from the nutrition facts label and the ingredients list.
The technology behind the Healthy Savings program is powered by Solutran Inc., a Minnesota-based technology company specializing in electronic benefit transfer systems and payment solutions.