Over the past two decades, China has achieved marked success in improving life expectancy and reducing death and illness from infectious diseases. However, the burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) has grown dramatically, impacting the healthcare costs, absenteeism levels, and productivity of many employers. Ping An Health has recently introduced an innovative solution to help address these problems and improve employee health
A health insurer with a difference
Ping An Health is a specialist health insurer operating in the Chinese market since 2005. It is currently the largest health insurer in China by number of lives covered, and its core purpose is ‘making people healthier’. Like other insurers, it offers comprehensive health insurance benefits so that when clients become ill, they can also get well again. However, what sets Ping An apart is its focus not only on paying claims when plan members become ill or have an accident, but the fact that it also encourages and rewards members for making healthy choices through its Vitality programme.
In doing this, Ping An Health helps prevent employees from developing NCDs, and also aids those already with these conditions to manage their health through lifestyle changes. This innovative approach to healthcare funding lowers costs, boosts productivity, reduces absenteeism, and helps plan members enjoy the benefits of good health.
A world-leading wellness solution
Vitality is an internationally acclaimed, scientifically based wellness programme. As the largest programme of its kind in the world, it uses a combination of financial incentives and behavioural economic principles to encourage healthy behaviour and lower the barriers to living a healthy lifestyle.
Since its launch in 1997, Vitality has been continually enhanced. Guided by the latest research in the fields of health, wellness and behavioural psychology, it has developed into the world leader in incentive-based wellness offerings. The result is a membership pool of over 1,6 million lives in South Africa, 3,1 million lives in the US, and 660,000 lives in the UK, all actively engaged in managing and improving their health through wellness interventions at both individual and corporate levels. Ping An Health has recently adapted Vitality specifically for China.
The Vitality programme has been the subject of several scientific studies, and today there is substantial, peer reviewed evidence published in leading international journals that shows the significant impact on health status, health costs and health outcomes of engagement in the Vitality programme over a period of close to 17 years.
Members’ health, hospital admissions, and mortality rates improve in a linear fashion as they engage more with Vitality. As a result of this, employers benefit significantly from long-term healthcare cost savings, as well as from improvements in the health status, wellbeing and general productivity of employees.
With wellness currently at the forefront of healthcare issues globally, Vitality has received considerable recognition in this space. Its role in addressing workplace wellness was recently acknowledged at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting held in Davos, Switzerland, and it was also identified by AON-Hewitt as the leading wellness vendor for providing best-in-class services.
Creating a new trend in health and wellness in China
Vitality was launched in China in November 2012, and there are currently around 13,500 members enrolled in the programme. It is automatically available to all members of Ping An Health’s group high-end health insurance products at no additional cost. The programme is easy to use, and gives members immediate access to a wide range of motivating rewards. This proven approach to stimulating healthy behaviour promises great benefits to members, employers and society.
The Ping An Health Vitality team assembled for a Vitality Corporate
Wellness Day held at a client’s office. At this event employees participate
in various wellness activities, after which they receive comprehensive reports on their health status.