It Pays to Get Healthy, Stay Healthy: Making the Most of Your State Health Benefit Plan

September 4, 2013

Originally Published July 05, 2011

You can earn extra Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA) dollars for making efforts to improve your overall health. That's right, if you are in the HRA Option, you and your spouse (if covered) can each earn a $125 dollar credit for receiving your annual physical and taking your health assessment. These dollar credits will be put into your HRA account to reduce your deductible and out of pocket maximum and use for covered medical expenses.

You can receive health and wellness discounts on weight/nutrition programs and gym memberships. Depending on your plan, you may be eligible for 10 to 50 percent savings on weight management; 20 to 25 percent on tailored medical and nutritional plans such as Jenny Craig's free 30-day program and 25 percent off Premium Success program; special pricing on Weight Watchers membership; and 12 percent on NutriSystem® 28-Day orders. You can also save on fitness club memberships; e.g., a minimum 10 percent off enrollment fees and/or monthly dues, or the best available public rate based on the membership type you choose. Other discounts might include laser vision correction, hearing tests and aids, cosmetic dental procedures and acupuncture.

A closer look at your State Health Benefits Plan (SHBP) reveals that in addition to medical, pharmacy and behavioral health services, you can access a variety of on-line tools and resources to help you get healthy, and stay healthy. Here are just a few:

  • Online Tools - Available to help you search for preferred physicians, hospitals and competitive pricing for prescriptions/medications
  • Nurse Line 24/7 - Access to nurses via telephone to help you understand treatment options; choose emergency room, doctor, specialist or self-care facilities that are right for your needs; answer medication questions; and help manage chronic conditions
  • Personal Health Records (PHRs) - Access 24 hours a day, seven days a week to a secure online location that allows you to document and store all of your health data such as medical conditions, allergies, surgeries, immunizations and list emergency contacts
  • Disease Management Programs - Health coaches help you manage chronic conditions; under certain plans, this may be eligible for co-pay waivers
  • Lifestyle Management Programs - Online and telephonic health coaching programs provide information on topics such as stress management, weight management and tobacco cessation

Contact your healthcare provider at the telephone number on the back of your health insurance identification card or go on-line at and click on the CIGNA or UnitedHealthcare links for detailed information.