Last updated on January 25th, 2018 at 03:11 pm
Eligible UnitedHealthcare and Oxford health plan participants and their dependents in New York and New Jersey soon will be able to buy healthy foods at discounted prices through the Healthy Savings program at more than 180 Stop & Shop and Western Beef store locations.
UnitedHealthcare is distributing Healthy Savings cards in the mail this week to its eligible plan participants. After receiving and activating their cards, participants can download the Healthy Savings mobile app and begin purchasing prequalified healthy foods from more than 200 food and beverage brands. Discounts are preloaded onto users’ accounts each week, and shoppers can scan their cards or mobile apps at checkout to have the discounts instantly subtracted from their bill and printed on their receipt. According to Healthy Savings, users can reduce their monthly grocery bills by more than $150.
Weekly discounts are offered on products in the healthiest one-third of items in a grocery store, including fresh produce, milk, whole-grain bread, lean meats, eggs, yogurt and many other products. The food items are qualified through Guiding Stars, a national nutrition guidance system which rates the nutritional quality of food using a patented algorithm that gives positive points for vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber and whole grains, and negative points for things like fats, cholesterol, sodium and sugar.
“Healthy Savings makes choosing healthier food easier and more affordable for thousands of people throughout New York and New Jersey,” said Michael McGuire, CEO, UnitedHealthcare of New York. “We believe individuals and families will appreciate Healthy Savings because it enables them to improve their diets, which can improve their health and wellbeing.”
Last year, UnitedHealthcare made Healthy Savings, which launched in the Midwest, available to people enrolled in fully insured employer-based and individual health plans in parts of Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Virginia and Washington, D.C.
To date, program participants have saved more than $1.4 million, says the organization.
“We are on a mission to improve the way America eats,” said Chad Kelly, chief marketing officer at Solutran Inc., the parent company and technology provider of Healthy Savings. “Access to and affordability of healthy food continue to be barriers to better health and well-being. Healthy Savings is making a big difference by breaking down these barriers.”
UnitedHealthcare serves nearly 6 million people in New York and New Jersey with a network of more than 550 hospitals and 130,000 physicians and other care providers.