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This Insurer Will Pay You $600 to Eat Healthy

This Insurer Will Pay You $600 to Eat Healthy

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Monday, 18 April 2016 05:02 AM Current | Bio | Archive


John Hancock Insurance Company expanded its Vitality reward program for life insurance to include food. Now you can earn back $600 a year just by purchasing healthy foods to eat from participating grocers like Wal-Mart.

"The HealthyFood program is based on modern nutrition science and behavioral economic theory, and the financial incentives and rewards offered through the John Hancock Vitality program are a proven strategy for changing habits," said Brooks Tingle, senior vice president of marketing and strategy with John Hancock.

Policyholders who add the Vitality benefit to their life insurance policy could earn points by doing things like exercise, go to the doctor, get health screenings and those points add up over time and can be used to lower annual premiums by up to 15%

But why in the world would an insurance company care what I eat?

"We know that nutrition plays an important role, along with exercise in helping people live a long, healthy life," Tingle told me at Grand Central Station in Manhattan last week where Hancock was announcing the expansion. "If policy holders live longer, their money is invested in the life insurance policy longer and there is more opportunity for investment gain."

According to the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, offering discounts of 10% and 25% for buying healthy foods increased the amount of money consumers spent on healthy food, increased the amount of fruits and vegetables they bought and decreased the amount of less-healthy foods purchased.

Apparently that’s important because more than two-thirds of American adults age 20 and older are overweight or obese as are 32% of children, according to the American Heart Association.

I certainly would buy more lettuce if I knew that I'd get $600 a year for doing it but I am not so sure I want an insurance company telling me to "eat your vegetables."

Regardless of how I feel about it, insurance companies playing big brother around the food I eat or don't is a trend that ain't turning back.

"We will more likely see an increasing number of insurance companies creating reward programs for their policies,” said Catherine Ho, product actuary for LIMRA research.

Vitality is available to John Hancock Term, Protection Universal Life, Accumulation Indexed Universal Life, Protection Indexed Universal Life, Accumulation Variable Universal Life and Simplified Life or easy-issue Variable Universal Life products.

Juliette Fairley is an author, lecturer and TV host based in New York.

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John Hancock Insurance Company expanded its Vitality reward program for life insurance to include food. Now you can earn back $600 a year just by purchasing healthy foods to eat from participating grocers like Wal-Mart.
insurer, eat, healthy, Vitality
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2016-02-18
Monday, 18 April 2016 05:02 AM
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