BUFFALO, N.Y. (December 16, 2014) - Independent Health members whose plans include the nutrition benefit have earned more than $400,000 in reward dollars so far this year by purchasing fresh fruits and vegetables at Tops Friendly Markets.
Through the nutrition benefit, members receive $1 back in rewards for every $2 they spend on fresh fruits and vegetables at Tops. Members can earn up to $1,000 on their produce purchases each year on a family plan and up to $500 on a single plan, with the benefit rewards tracked through the Tops BonusPlus program.
The rewards dollars are paid out quarterly in the form of an in-store rewards card that can be used on future in-store grocery purchases, excluding tobacco products. Since the benefit was launched in January, more than 5,000 rewards cards have been issued to members.
"We are extremely happy to reward so many of our members for making healthy choices when shopping," said Nora McGuire, chief marketing officer at Independent Health. "The nutrition benefit is just one the many ways Independent Health is making it easier for our members to take charge of their health. By offering a variety of innovative products, benefits and programs, we have been able to help our members make wiser health care choices and adopt healthier behaviors."
"We are always looking for ways to help our neighbors make healthy food choices, and the nutrition benefit partnership with Independent Health has been tremendous in working toward that goal," said Frank Curci, Tops' president and CEO. "Because of this benefit, thousands of western New Yorkers have been rewarded for purchasing fresh fruits and vegetables for themselves and their families when they shop at Tops, and with our partners at Independent Health I'm confident that we'll continue to encourage these healthy nutrition choices."
Based on the successful results that it has already produced, the nutrition benefit will continue to be included on the majority of Independent Health’s small group and individual plans in 2015. In addition, large groups (more than 50 full-time employees) will still have the option to purchase the benefit as a rider on its benefit plan.
How the nutrition benefit works
- Subscribers whose plans include the nutrition benefit must first register for an online account at independenthealth.com. They need to provide their TOPS BonusPlus Card number once registered.
- Members then need to take an online Well-Being Assessment through FitWorks, our innovative online wellness tool that helps our members stay motivated and live healthier lifestyles. Covered spouses or domestic partner, if applicable, are also required to take this assessment before the benefit can be accessed.
- Once our members have completed the Well-Being assessment, Independent Health and Tops will enroll them in our nutrition rewards program.
- Once enrolled, members may begin earning the Nutrition Benefit reward. In order to receive a $1 credit back for every $2 they spend on fresh fruits and vegetables, members need to use their TOPS Bonus Card at the time of purchase.
- Members’ updated nutrition rewards information is listed on each TOPS receipt so that it’s easy for them to track their progress.
- Members who earn at least $15 in nutrition rewards are reimbursed quarterly with a rewards card from Independent Health that can be used on future in-store grocery purchases at TOPS, excluding tobacco products.
- Members who do not earn the minimum $15 in nutrition rewards during a calendar quarter will have their rewards carried over until the next reward cycle or the end of the plan year.