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John Hancock rewarding customers for eating healthy

Brian Anderson

BOSTON – John Hancock is giving its life insurance customers a financial incentive to eat healthy with the expansion of its John Hancock Vitality solution to include the HealthyFood program.

John Hancock announced the expansion in early April, which allows John Hancock Vitality policyholders to earn rewards for the healthy food choices they make every day with real-time discounts and/or cash back up to $600 a year on their grocery bills, and program points that lead to savings on their annual premiums up to 15%.

First introduced one year ago, the John Hancock Vitality solution reinvented the life insurance experience to connect long-term health to financial well-being. The program provides savings and rewards to policyholders who complete health-related activities like exercising, getting an annual health screening or receiving a flu shot. Individuals have the option to track their physical activity with smartphone apps and devices like the Apple Watch and Fitbit.

The Vitality HealthyFood™ component takes the program a step further by rewarding policyholders for purchasing healthy food at any of the 16,000 participating stores nationwide, including Walmart and other major grocery chains in the NutriSavings network – a complete list of included grocery stores can be viewed athttp://www.nutrisavings.com/all-retailers/. Policyholders also gain nutritional information and guidance that will help them adopt healthier eating habits through a new collaboration with the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University.

“Over the past year, we’ve seen our customers embrace the John Hancock Vitality program. In fact, our policyholders are taking an average of 9,205 steps per day[i], compared to the average U.S. adult, who takes an average of 5,900 daily steps[ii],” said Michael Doughty, president, John Hancock Insurance. “But fitness without good nutrition is not nearly as impactful on your health as when you combine the two. Now, with the addition of the HealthyFood program, policyholders can be rewarded for both walking a few more steps and making healthy food choices to improve their overall health.”

In the U.S., poor diet accounts for one out of four deaths (26%) or nearly 700,000 deaths each year.[iii] More than two-thirds of American adults age 20 and older are overweight or obese, as are 32% of children, according to the American Heart Association.[iv] Adopting a healthy diet and active lifestyle can help many Americans take control of their health and prevent heart disease and other chronic conditions.

“Policyholders also gain access to trusted science, resources, and other tools that will help them adopt healthier diets through a new collaboration with the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, the only graduate school of nutrition in North America, which will provide up-to-date and relevant guidance towards maintaining a healthy diet,” said Dariush Mozaffarian, dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University.

Similar programs abroad have been successful in influencing consumers to choose healthier foods. In South Africa, where the HealthyFood benefit was developed by Discovery Insurance, research has shown that offering cash-back can change consumer purchasing behaviors. When offered discounts of 10% and 25% for healthy foods, consumers increased the amount of money they spent on healthy food by 6% and 9.3%; increased the amount of fruit and vegetables they bought by 5.7% and 8.5%; and decreased the amount of less-healthy foods purchased by 5.6%  and 7.2%, respectively.[v]

“The John Hancock Vitality program has been our most successful launch, with great levels of interest and early adoption,” said Alan Pollard, CEO, Vitality. “By introducing the HealthyFood benefit to its members, John Hancock continues to reaffirm our shared commitment to improving the lives of our customers.”

The John Hancock Vitality program is available on Term, Protection Universal Life, Accumulation Indexed Universal Life, Protection Indexed Universal Life, Accumulation Variable Universal Life and Simplified Life (easy-issue Variable Universal Life) products. John Hancock plans to add additional products to its Vitality portfolio later this year.

Visit JHRewardsLife.com for more details about John Hancock life insurance with Vitality and the HealthyFood program.

About John Hancock Financial and Manulife: John Hancock Financial is a division of Manulife, a leading Canada-based financial services group with principal operations in Asia, Canada and the United States. Operating as Manulife in Canada and Asia, and primarily as John Hancock in the United States, the group of companies offers clients a diverse range of financial protection products and wealth management services through its extensive network of employees, agents and distribution partners. The John Hancock unit, through its insurance companies, comprises one of the largest life insurers in the United States. John Hancock offers and administers a broad range of financial products, including life insurance, annuities, investments, 401(k) plans, long-term care insurance, college savings,and other forms of business insurance. Additional information about John Hancock may be found atjohnhancock.com.

About Vitality: The Vitality Group is a member of Discovery Ltd., a global financial services organization offering an incentive-based wellness program to employers as part of their benefits program. With a foundation based on actuarial science and behavioral economic theory, Vitality encourages changes in lifestyle that reduce health care costs, both in the short run and long term, by rewarding members for addressing their specific health issues. Vitality wellness programs serve companies in a wide range of sizes and industries, improving individuals’ health and well-being as well as employers’ bottom lines. Vitality brings a global perspective through successful partnerships with large employers and best-in- class insurers around the world, in countries including the United States, United Kingdom, South Africa, China, Singapore and Australia. Follow on Twitter: https://twitter.com/VitalityUSA.

[i] Vitality, as of Feb 29, 2016.

[ii] http://www.livescience.com/43956-walking-10000-steps-healthy.html

[iii] Murray CJ, Atkinson C, Bhalla K et al. (2013) The state of US health, 1990-2010: burden of diseases, injuries, and risk factors. JAMA 310(6):591-608.

[iv] http://www.heart.org/idc/groups/ahamah-public/@wcm/@sop/@smd/documents/downloadable/ucm_480086.pdf

[v] Sturm R, Ruopeng A, Segal D, Patel D. A cash-back rebate program for healthy food purchases in South Africa: Results from scanner data. American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2013.



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