90 percent on state’s Kentucky Employee Health Plan are enrolled in its wellness program

If a focus on wellness and prevention is the key to living a longer life, then Kentucky public employees are well on their way with 90 percent of them now participating in the HumanaVitality™ wellness program, which is offered through their Kentucky Employee Health Plan, compared to only 10 percent just three years ago, according to a state news release.

Through this wellness program nearly 158,000 members completed an annual health assessment or biometric screening this year; more than 132,000 members are enrolled in a health plan tied to wellness; and the number of plan members using a pedometer or other fitness-tracking device has increased from around 6,000 to nearly 17,000.

The wellness plan offers and encourages preventive screenings and this year it became the first in the country to offer the national Diabetes Prevention Program to nearly 85,000 members who are considered at-risk of developing the disease, with nearly 300 KEHP members taking them up on it. Plan membership totals around 160,000 plan holders and 266,000 covered lives.

“The program has been a lifesaver,” Connie Armstrong, a Clinton County schools employee, said in the release. “The program is the main reason that I have lost close to 40 pounds – and best of all, my blood sugar has dropped from high risk to normal.”

Ten major diagnostic conditions, including diabetes, heart failure, COPD, obesity, and chronic back and neck pain account for almost 80 percent of all claim costs, says the release.

“Reducing the high rates of chronic conditions has been a major focus for the health plan,” Employee Insurance Commissioner Joe Cowles said in the release. “Now we are seeing a substantial increase in cancer screenings and prevention program participation.”

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