Safeway testing health care services plan

NEW YORK Safeway chief executive officer Steve Burd said his company is in the early stages of launching a healthcare services consulting division called Safeway Health.

Burd provided few details about the program while speaking at Goldman Sachs Retailing Conference in New York on Thursday but said it was based on a plan Safeway offers to non-union employees. He said that plan provides incentives for employees to better manage their health and to choose the most cost-effective healthcare options.

“If you design a healthcare plan where behavior really matters, people actually respond,” said Burd. The company said Safeway Health has not had a formal launch and that the program is in its early stages.

Safeway has been a leader in testing preventive-care programs. It currently offers employees a plan called FoodFlex that helps them eat healthier foods and avoid things that could negatively impact pre-existing medical conditions. Safeway rolled out a version of FoodFlex to Loyalty Card members last year.

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