If prevention is more effective than a cure for our overall health, why do so many insurance programs ignore preventive care? Manulife Vitality pairs health insurance with an app designed to encourage the development and practice of healthy habits.
While not insurance coverage itself, Manulife, formerly Manufacturers Life Insurance Company, offers the Manulife Vitality Health app and program with their group plans. The program incentivizes making healthy choices and lifestyle improvements.
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What is Manulife Vitality?
The Manulife Vitality Program is a health and wellness-focused rewards program with Manulife group benefits products.
After downloading the Manulife Vitality App, accepting the terms of service, and signing in, policyholders can earn points through physical activities, testing, visiting doctors, practicing self-care, and making other healthy choices. Rewards vary from gift cards for several retailers and entertainment companies to hefty discounts on health and activity devices.
The Manulife Vitality App uses assessments and information uploaded from user’s Apple Watch, Garmin Vivofit, or other activity tracking devices to help them better understand their current health and how dietary and lifestyle choices impact it. It builds a weekly goal personalized based on the user’s assessments and information, then creates a health improvement plan tailored to fit their needs and where they are in their health and wellness journey.
Earn Rewards for Making Healthy Choices
Making significant health changes takes consistent effort over time. Drastic improvements within days or weeks are rare, so many find maintaining motivation between distant rewards difficult.
The Manulife Vitality App helps by rewarding user efforts with points for each healthy decision they make throughout the day. Users can accrue these points and exchange them for gift cards, discounts, and lower premiums.
How Do You Earn Points?
What types of healthy choices and physical activities qualify to earn rewards for Manulife Vitality members? Regular workouts such as walking, running, biking, or weightlifting count toward Vitality points. Attending checkups and other preventative appointments, screenings, and vaccinations also earn points.
Events centred around physical activities such as races, fundraisers and sports events where users participate rather than watch count for the most Vitality point rewards. Precautions taken to prevent the spread of covid-19 have reduced the number of available events, so Vitality Group now allows individuals to hold personal events using their activity tracking devices to record their participation.
Finally, completing assessments and mental health check-ins through the Manulife Vitality App and a few lifestyle entries allow users to earn additional points on occasion.
Yearly Lifestyle Bonus Points
Some healthy choices get made so frequently they would become a source of unlimited points and negatively impact user goals. Excluding these lifestyle choices is counterproductive since they are important decisions along the road to achieving better overall health, so Vitality Group offers them as items members can only claim ever so often. Most are something of a yearly lifestyle bonus.
For example, Manulife Vitality members may claim 1,000 points annually for being non-smokers.
Completing the app’s Vitality Health Review (VHR) each year is a simple yet powerful way to earn points. Health improvements tend to occur slowly over a long time, and this makes seeing progress tricky. The annual VHR allows users to see how their efforts change their health for the better from year to year.
Other yearly earning activities include a BMI check, cholesterol check, blood pressure check, and glucose checks. Participants earn bonus points when their results are within specified limits.
Physical Activities for Higher Vitality
Manulife Vitality does not award points based on activity types but rather their intensity and duration as measured by your activity recording device. A minimum of 15 continuous minutes of light to moderate activity throughout the day earns 10 points, and 45 minutes or more of activity may earn 30 points.
Participation in athletic events may earn participants anywhere from 250 to 500 Vitality points. While these events usually can’t be done at home, as mentioned, due to covid-19 control measures, Manulife Vitality allows individuals to record their own events at present. Manulife may remove this option in the future.
Users can earn physical activity points daily. To prevent over-focusing on exercise to the detriment of other choices for a healthier lifestyle, Vitality Group capped point earnings for physical activities at 6,000 points per year.
Qualified Screenings and Training
To encourage users who generally skip annual well checks and screenings, Manulife also offers points for attending yearly appointments. Some screenings and vaccinations allow users to earn 200 points each.
Qualified screenings include dental visits, mammograms, pap smears, colorectal screenings, and other preventative care.
It is a point that many forget these days, but as social animals, our health partially depends on the health and skill of our community. The more people in a community who know how to help in a medical emergency, the better the chances a member will survive and make a full recovery following a medical crisis. That’s why obtaining health and medical-related certifications will also earn rewards with the Manulife Vitality app.
Mental Health Checks
Without adequate coping mechanisms and support, the stresses of everyday life take a toll on our mental health. Stress, anxiety, depression, and many other mental health problems often build slowly and quietly, chipping away at our Vitality without drawing attention until they become disabling.
The Vitality website offers mental wellness reviews and self-check questionnaires. Members can use these tools to regularly assess their current mental health to catch warning signs early and seek treatment.
An abundance of health and wellness websites, blogs, articles, and businesses flood the internet with tons of frequently conflicting information. Many find it hard to know which resources to trust and what advice to follow. The Manulife Vitality Program helps cut through the excess by providing a wealth of resources.
The Vitality website carries articles on every facet of health and wellness and tools to help Manulife Vitality members incorporate them into a healthier lifestyle and meet their weekly goals. Users can find articles on nutrition, self-care, coping strategies for improved mental health, and tutorials and workouts for weight loss, injury rehabilitation, and improved function.
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Does Manulife Vitality Make a Difference?
What is the main barrier most encounter when attempting to build a healthier lifestyle? The discomfort that comes with changes and the delayed satisfaction inherent in such changes makes staying motivated difficult for most. Incentivizing the process with small, frequent rewards for making healthy choices and additional large rewards for sticking with the program improves motivation and overall results.
Customer reviews from those who participated in the program are available on the Vitality website. Most confirm Manulife Vitality’s impact on the health and wellbeing of individual members.
What about Manulife Vitality as part of group benefits? Does the program make a difference for the group overall? While individual outcomes may not directly influence others, including Manulife Vitality in group benefits carries proven benefits for your business.
Healthy employees are happier and more productive, and prevention is far more effective than treatment for consistent good health. A holistic approach such as the one taken by the Manulife Vitality Program provides the highest return on investment for improving overall health, which improves productivity, company morale, and reduces absenteeism.
What About Patient Privacy?
By its nature, Manulife Vitality relies on a lot of personal information, a fact that raises privacy concerns for many. Users should always read the terms and conditions carefully on their own before accepting them, but Manulife and Vitality Group take patient privacy seriously.
Vitality Group is the only company to have access to users’ biometric data. Enough information is provided to Manulife to apply earned discounts for their life insurance policies but no more. Any further access requires an information release form.
Explore Available Plans and Join Manulife Vitality
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