California-based Kurbo Health and Humana Inc., have partnered to offer qualified employers with a Humana health plan will have the option to purchase a twelve-month subscription to Kurbo Health’s mobile health coaching and weight loss program as a wellness benefit for employees’ children starting this month. Previously, insurers provided access to weight loss programs to companies for adult employees, this is the first time a wellness program specifically designed to help an employee’s children has been introduced on such a large scale.
According to most studies, about one-third of large employer beneficiaries are dependents under the age of 25, and children and adolescents are responsible for 15 percent of a typical large employer’s health care cost. Since obese children are twice as likely to need medical care and typically have health expenses three times higher than non-overweight children, it’s easy to see a correlation behind childhood obesity and rising health care costs.
To help combat this growing trend, Humana’s partnership with Kurbo Health hopes to provide personalized care meeting the needs of families battling obesity to support overall long-term workforce health. According to the American Journal of Health Promotion, obesity is costing U.S. businesses more than $13 billion annually in health insurance claims, paid sick leave and disability and life insurance.
How Kurbo Health’s Mobile Health Plans Works
Based off a digital adaptation of the renowned Stanford Pediatric Obesity Program, Kurbo combines a food and activity tracker mobile app with subscription-based, personalized coaching via text, phone calls and video chat. As part of the twelve-month subscription to Kurbo Health’s mobile health coaching and weight loss program, Humana will offer employee’s children:
-a dedicated Kurbo coach that will meet with the parent and child each week to provide encouragement, review progress and set goals via phone or video conference
– daily motivation and support by text, phone and email.
– easy-to-understand food classification system makes it simple for kids to identify the foods that will help them achieve their goals and limit the ones that won’t.
-Mobile app that tracks food and exercise, and monitor progress through fun games, videos and weekly challenges
“Employers have begun to realize the impact of childhood obesity in several ways – both through increased medical bills and prescriptions for associated ailments and diseases such as diabetes – and indirectly, through parents’ lost productivity and engagement during the work day,” explained Kurbo CEO and Founder Joanna Strober. “Humana is leading the well-being charge by considering the whole family benefit of assisting employees’ children to get on the path to health.”
Launched in July 2014, the Kurbo app has been downloaded by more than 50,000 people and helped thousands of children and teens get healthy and lose weight through the coaching program. A recent Kurbo pilot study showed that 88 percent of children reduced their BMI at a healthy rate after using Kurbo coaching and its mobile app. These children reported higher levels of happiness, self-confidence and self-esteem.