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Hy-Vee Customers Can Now Receive Personalized Health, Wellness Benefits

Soda Health partnership turns grocer’s Midwest stores into points of care for Medicaid, Medicare and other health insurance members
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Hy-Vee has introduced Soda Health's Smart Benefits program, which is available to members of participating Medicare Advantage, Medicaid and employer benefits programs, in addition to other public organizations.

Hy-Vee Inc. and health technology company Soda Health have rolled out a new Smart Benefits program that enables recipients to receive personalized health-and-wellness benefits at all Hy-Vee locations in the retailer’s eight-state market area. The offering is available to members of participating Medicare Advantage, Medicaid and employer benefits programs, in addition to other public organizations.

Personalized benefits are delivered down to the SKU level, ensuring that dollars may only be used on products that contribute to a healthier lifestyle and health outcomes. Under the program, recipients can receive customized benefits on fresh produce, over-the-counter pharmacy items, clinical services, nutritional counseling, and more. Program recipients will also receive tailored health support, including reminders about health screenings, vaccinations and prescription refills, along with information on medical supplies relating to their particular health conditions.

The Hy-Vee-Soda Health partnership aims to reduce food insecurity and improve overall health outcomes by promoting healthy habits and lifestyles among individuals and employer groups, using Hy-Vee’s team of registered dietitians and network of 275-plus retail pharmacies.

Participants may be eligible to use any of the following services and products offered by the program, depending on their health plan:                                       

  • Food Benefits can be used for fresh fruits and vegetables, nutritious food items, medically tailored meals, meal plans, and more. Hy-Vee dietitians can also provide recipes, food preparation resources and personalized food recommendations to help manage patients’ specific conditions.                                                 
  • Biometric Screenings can help identify potential risk factors for such chronic diseases as heart disease, hypertension or diabetes, with follow-up nutritional programs run by Hy-Vee dietitians.                                 
  • Condition Management Programs can help participants learn how to manage certain health conditions through nutrition and lifestyle changes, with offerings available for maternal health, diabetes, weight management and hypertension.
  • Dietitian Services consist of in-person or virtual nutritional counseling sessions to help participants achieve their personal health-and-wellness goals.
  • Vaccinations for flu, COVID-19, RSV, shingles, pneumococcal and more can help protect individuals’ health.
  • Smoking Cessation through a group course that provides resources and support for individuals who want to quit smoking. 

Funded by insurance plans and other health benefits organizations, the program was developed to help boost access to health care and address the social determinants of health. It enables employer groups to create customized benefit plans that best support their employees and can include such incentives as gift cards, fuel discounts and exclusive coupons. These benefits can also be used to pay for transportation to medical appointments and personal utility bills.

“Through this new program, we make managing health easier for our customers,” noted Hy-Vee President Aaron Wiese. “As a trusted grocer and a health care provider, we are uniquely positioned to reach and engage with individuals in the Midwest and beyond as we help support them in their health journey. Soda Health offers an innovative benefits platform that complements our expertise in food, nutrition and pharmacy, so ultimately, we can help improve a person’s overall health.”

 “Hy-Vee is one of the most innovative retailers in the country that has established a reputation for its customer experience and enhanced pharmacy services,” said Robby Knight, CEO and co-founder of Bentonville, Ark.-based Soda Health, and a former Walmart executive. “Hy-Vee, participating health plans and Soda Health will offer a whole-health approach and partner to reduce administrative costs, so those funds can be reinvested back in areas that help consumers improve their health outcomes. Together, we are bringing localized, personalized, comprehensive health care to customers who need it most at the locations they visit the most.”

Last month, Soda Health teamed with The Kroger Co. to roll out the Smart Benefits program, while earlier in 2023, Albertsons Cos. entered into a partnership to accept benefit cards from the health tech provider

Employee-owned Hy-Vee operates more than 285 retail stores across eight Midwestern states, with sales of more than $13 billion annually. The West Des Moines, Iowa-based company has a team of more than 75,000 employees and is No. 36 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2023 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. PG also named Hy-Vee a 2023 Top Regional. Cincinnati-based Kroger and Boise, Idaho-based Albertsons, whose pending merger is slated to close early this year, are Nos. 4 and 9, respectively on PG’s list.

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