March 19, 2014 NR 014-033 FOR MORE INFORMATION: Dorothy F. Teeter, Director, Health Care Authority (HCA), 360-725-1040 Louis McDermott, Director, Public Employees Benefits Division, HCA 360-725-0856 Mary Fliss, Deputy Director, Public Employees Benefits Division, HCA, 360-725-0822 OLYMPIA – Washington State’s Health Care Authority announced a Bellevue-based company, Limeade, as the apparent successful bidder to administer SmartHealth, a new wellness program that will reward healthy activities and positive lifestyle changes beginning January 2015. The program is open to state and higher-education employees, employees of participating K-12 school districts and employer groups, and retiree and COBRA subscribers who are not enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B. These members must also have medical coverage through the Public Employees Benefits Board (PEBB) Program. Once the contract negotiations conclude in early May, Limeade will begin implementation of an online health and wellness portal that will allow eligible PEBB members to participate in wellness activities via the internet. The online portal will also let the PEBB Program use the internet to handle administrative tasks involved in operating the SmartHealth program. It is planned to be fully implemented in January of 2015. Starting in 2015, the online portal will include a health assessment and individualized health improvement plans that will support eligible subscribers to improve their health, earn the SmartHealth wellness incentive, and learn more about health and wellness topics for themselves and their families. Using a single health assessment and wellness portal for all eligible PEBB members allows for consistency in promoting the adoption of evidence based wellness messaging and activities. It encourages the adoption of healthy behaviors that improve members sense of well-being and reduce overall health care costs. “The SmartHealth program was inspired by Governor Jay Inslee’s Executive Order 13-06 ordering us to develop a state employee wellness program,” said Dorothy Teeter, director of the Health Care Authority. “It is a win-win proposition for PEBB members which improves health by encouraging healthy eating and active living lifestyle changes, and in the long run, saving on health care costs by improving health.” “Our goal is to put together the best practices of today’s modern wellness programs with the latest in internet and mobile technologies,” said Louis McDermott, director of the HCA’s Public Employees Benefits (PEB) Division. “The end result should be a nimble, engaging wellness experience that will energize a high performing workforce.” Before the online portal is available next year, SmartHealth will offer a financial incentive in January 2015 for eligible members who attest between April 1 and June 30, 2014, that they have: 1. Chosen a primary care provider. 2. Completed their PEBB medical plan’s health assessment. 3. Started a wellness program activity, such as participating in a tobacco cessation program, or committing to physical exercise activities for at least 10 consecutive weeks. The SmartHealth program was patterned after other successful wellness programs, McDermott said. FOR MORE INFORMATION OR BACKGROUND: The Medicaid Expansion 2014 website: https://www.hca.wa.gov/hcr/me The Health Benefit Exchange website: www.WAHBExchange.org Jim Stevenson, Communications, HCA 360-725-1915 [email protected] Beth Luce, Communications, HCA 360-725-0867 [email protected] # # # The Health Care Authority does not discriminate and provides equal access to its programs and services for all persons without regard to race, color, gender, religion, creed, marital status, national origin, sexual orientation, age, veteran’s status or the presence of any physical, sensory or mental disability.