Harvard Pilgrim Health Care rewards healthier eating with EatRight Rewards program

WELLESLEY, Mass. — Health insurer Harvard Pilgrim Health Care is offering the EatRight Rewards program to its employees and members. EatRight Rewards provides financial rewards to employees who buy healthy foods at the grocery store.

Through the company-funded initiative, Harvard Pilgrim employees can earn up to $20 every month as an incentive to improve their grocery shopping and eating habits. Harvard Pilgrim employer groups will be able to design their own rewards programs.

The program is based on a nutritional scoring method that assigns healthiness values to more than 100,000 foods, taking more than 30 different nutrient factors into account. Each food item that an employee or family member places in his or her shopping cart is scored, and an average for each shopping trip is calculated.

EatRight Rewards was rolled out as a pilot to Harvard Pilgrim’s workforce last fall; it offered savings on healthy foods through eCoupons, as well as education for healthy shopping and recipes. The financial rewards were added this spring. To be eligible for the $20 reward, employees must register their store loyalty cards, make at least one shopping trip a month and have an average monthly shopping basket score of 60 or above. Employees can choose to have their reward deposited into their checking or PayPal accounts.

Currently, more than one-third of Harvard Pilgrim employees are participating. They have recorded more than 4,000 shopping trips. More than 65% of the shopping trips have registered average shopping basket nutritional scores of 60 or higher on a scale of one to 100, with 100 as the best. The average shopping basket score nationally has been calculated at between 30 and 45.

A number of supermarkets are actively participating in this program, including Shaw’s, Star Market, Roche Brothers, Hannaford, Wegmans and others. Discussions are ongoing with additional local and regional supermarket chains, Havard Pilgrim stated.

Harvard Pilgrim will offer the EatRight Rewards to its employer groups later this year. Employers will be able to design their own employee rewards.

EatRight Rewards is powered by NutriSavings, a Newton, Mass.-based company that developed the first online ecosystem where produce growers, supermarkets and food and beverage companies join forces with employers to get employees healthy.

Harvard Pilgrim employees can earn additional savings by accessing eCoupons offered by food and beverage companies and the growers of fresh produce on the EatRight Rewards site.

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