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Tops Markets has teamed up with Independent Health for a incentive-based program that will reward the health plan's members for purchasing fresh fruits and vegetables.
Independent Health is the first health plan in New York state to introduce a nutrition benefit as part of its health coverage that provides members with the opportunity to receive money-back rewards for buying fresh fruits and vegetables.
The nutrition benefit, which will be available exclusively to Independent Health members beginning Jan. 1, 2014, will be available through all Tops Markets in western New York, with the ability to earn up to $1,000 per family plan and up to $500 per single plan annually. For every $2 an Independent Health member spends on fresh fruits and vegetables at Tops, the member will receive a $1 credit for in-store grocery purchases.
Rewards will be tracked through the Williamsville, N.Y.-based Tops Markets BonusPlus program. The benefit will be available on the majority of the new individual and small employer group products, and also as a rider on large employer group plans.
Michael W. Cropp, M.D., president and CEO of Buffalo, N.Y.-based Independent Health, said the program aims to enhance community health and well-being by providing affordable access to fresh fruits and vegetables, and by keeping plan members aware and up to date on the benefits of proper nutrition and reduced risk factors.
“Diet and exercise are key contributors to wellness and good health,” exlained Cropp. "Providing easier access to healthy eating and better nutrition is one of the many tools Independent Health offers our members to help them become more engaged in their health and develop sustainable fitness and lifestyle behaviors.”
Independent Health was also the first New York health plan to cover gym memberships and offer financial incentives for personal health engagement, added Cropp, noting, “We were also trailblazers in providing a $0 copay for preventive care in 2009 and a wide array of health-and-wellness efforts such as health coaches and educational programs to help combat chronic disease. Preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management are now Essential Health Benefits required by the Affordable Care Act."
Tops Markets LLC operates 159 full-service supermarkets under the Tops and Orchard Fresh banners. Of the total, 154 are company-owned stores and five are operated as franchise locations.