This week, almost 180,000 UnitedHealthcare plan participants and their families in northern Virginia and Washington, D.C., who are enrolled in fully insured, employer-sponsored health plans will be able to purchase healthy foods at a discount through the Healthy Savings program. The program can reduce monthly grocery bills for participants by more than $150.
Program enrollees receive a Healthy Savings card in the mail and can also download the free Healthy Savings mobile app at iTunes or Google Play, which will enable them to view available discounts, find nearby participating grocery stores and track accumulated savings. Once the card is activated online, participants can buy prequalified healthy foods from more than 200 food and beverage brands. The discounts are preloaded on accounts each week, so when users scan their cards or mobile apps at checkout, the discounts are instantly subtracted from their bills and printed on their receipts.
Beginning Nov. 15, Healthy Savings will be available at any Giant Food, Shoppers Food and Farm Fresh stores –more than 140 locations – in northern Virginia and Washington, D.C.
The program offers weekly discounts on such items as fresh produce, milk, whole grain bread, lean meats, eggs and yogurt. The foods are qualified through the Guiding Stars nutrition guidance system, which rates nutritional quality using information from the Nutrition Facts label and the products' ingredients lists.
“Healthy Savings makes choosing healthier food easier and more affordable for thousands of people throughout Virginia and the District,” said Christopher Mullins, CEO of UnitedHealthcare of the Mid-Atlantic. “We believe individuals and families will appreciate Healthy Savings because it enables them to improve their diets, which can improve their health and well-being.”
“It is rewarding to make healthy foods more affordable for families across America,” added Chad Kelly, chief marketing officer of Minneapolis-based Solutran Inc., parent company of Healthy Savings. “We’re grateful for the opportunity to work with UnitedHealthcare to help its plan participants in Virginia and the District eat healthier.”
Last year, Minnetonka, Minn.-based UnitedHealthcare rolled out Healthy Savings to people enrolled in fully insured employer-based and individual health plans in parts of Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana at Copps, Metro Market, Pick'n Save and Woodman's Markets locations. Since its introduction, more than 500,000 people have received access to Healthy Savings.
In September of this year, Ahold USA revealed that the program would eventually be available across its Stop & Shop, Giant Landover, and Giant/Martin’s divisions in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia and Washington, D.C.
UnitedHealthcare serves nearly 1.4 million people in Virginia and Washington, D.C., through a network of 123 hospitals and almost 25,000 physicians and other care providers.