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Playtex Products, Inc.

Prior to 2004, Playtex tried to manage health care cost increases by resizing, refocusing, and redesigning our health care plans with little or no impact.  In an effort to rethink associate health at Playtex, we asked ourselves a few years ago to think through new and creative solutions to this health care dilemma.  

As a result, we developed a “Total Health Task Force” to manage associate health as a company-wide initiative.  We realized there would be no “quick fixes,” but we were hopeful that the Task Force would engage and empower associates and their family members to improve health and fitness, prevent problems before they occurred, better handle problems when they did occur, make the best use of available resources, and improve the quality of our associates’ lives.

To meet these goals, the task force utilized the following approaches:

•    Chronic disease management
•    Early detection of health risks through health risk assessments and clinical screenings,
•    Health care consumer support systems,
•    Incentives for healthy lifestyles and behaviors, and
•    Health education.

The task force today is made up of a cross-functional team of mostly manager-level associates representing all major areas of Playtex’s business functions.  Over the past three years, we have successfully managed to develop a strategic partnership with our associates to keep health care costs well below national trends.  We have accomplished this by implementing a consumer-driven approach to health care, where associates who utilize services are required to pay for a portion of the cost.  Associates can reduce their out-of-pocket expenses, though, by participating in wellness programs throughout the year.

In 2006, 48% of our associates participated in at least one of five “Winning with Wellness” programs.  These programs focused on areas identified from the health risk assessment associates participated in the previous year.  This health risk assessment included a fasting blood test and a self-reported personal health profile. Associates who successfully completed wellness programs were rewarded with up to $200 in a health reimbursement account funded by Playtex to reduce deductible and coinsurance expenses in the next calendar year.  The programs offered in 2006 focused on the following identified areas:

•    Healthy eating – “Five a day @ work” program designed to promote eating more fruits and vegetables each day.
•    Weight management – “Weigh to Go!” program designed to maintain weight over 12 weeks.  
•    Health education – “Healthy Learning Program” focusing on various topics such as heart health, nutrition, exercise, diabetes              awareness, financial health, and work/life balance.
•    Physical activity- “Ready, Fit, Go!” program focusing on getting at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day.
•    Health risk assessment – “Health IQ Test” identifying any existing or potential health risks based upon fasting blood test results           and a personal health risk assessment.

By developing a consumer driven health model at Playtex, we have managed to keep our health care cost increases well below national averages, and realized a 5% decrease in expected costs for 2007.  Our associates are benefiting personally by improving their overall health status and have had no increases in medical premiums for the past four years.   The Playtex “Winning with Wellness” activities will continue to focus on improving associate behaviors that are within our control to reduce the risk of developing chronic illnesses in the future.
© 2007 CAHR