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Small changes, big impacts: why the John Hancock Vitality program works
Living well means more than just a long life. It’s about having the health and wealth to enjoy your time with the people you love most. But achieving your physical and financial goals can be overwhelming. That’s where John Hancock life insurance with Vitality can help.
John Hancock Vitality, included with all John Hancock life insurance policies, is a science and technology-based wellness program that supports and rewards healthy habits. It focuses on the three pillars of good health — nutrition, physical fitness, and mental well-being — and recognizes that small daily decisions can have a big impact on your physical and financial well-being. Here’s how it works:
Research-Based Insights on Longevity and Health
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, our behavior directly impacts our overall health and longevity. It’s estimated that up to 2/3 of all deaths in the U.S. are substantially or primarily caused by behavioral choices, with the four top causes of death being preventable diseases: heart disease, cancer, respiratory diseases, and stroke.1
So what can be done to prevent these conditions? Research shows that creating long-term change is best done by incentivizing many short-term behavior changes. This research has informed the John Hancock Vitality program, which helps people take immediate, achievable steps and rewards progress along the way.
Nutrition: Maintaining Healthy Eating Habits
There is overwhelming evidence that a nutritious diet is a critical foundation for a long and healthy life. However, the average American does not have a healthy diet. That lifestyle has long term effects on their health and their wallets too.2
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American household spends $3,008 on restaurant meals and takeout per year, with those meals each totaling 1,205 calories and 1,300 mg of sodium3 (about half of a person’s typical daily recommendation!). Meals prepped at home, on the other hand, are associated with diets lower in calories, sugar, and fat—and monthly expenses.4
Your eating habits can also cost you. People in poor health tend to work less, earn less, face higher medical expenses, die earlier, and accumulate less wealth compared to those in good health, says the National Bureau of Economic Research.5 Poor diet accounts for nearly 700,000 deaths each year in the United States.6
Vitality incentivizes healthy eating by offering you up to $120 a month in savings at the grocery check-out counter, plus an extra $50 if you’re a Vitality PLUS member. You’ll also get Vitality points for select promoted fresh fruits and veggies—points which you can put towards more rewards and discounts.
Physical Fitness: Increasing Physical Activity
Less than 25% of Americans get enough exercise, based on federal standards, yet studies confirm that inactivity plays a significant role in the development of chronic and preventable diseases, like obesity, diabetes, hypertension and depression.7
How significant is this issue? Obesity is a leading preventable cause of death in the United States.8 In fact, recent data shows that 69% of American adults are overweight or obese.9 Those numbers also translate into more sick days, medical claims, and healthcare costs.10
Incorporating more physical activity into your day-to-day life can help you safeguard your overall health and wealth. Setting small achievable goals paves the way for a bigger long-term impact.
Vitality encourages activity goal-setting in a variety of ways. First, all Vitality members enjoy discounts on health-related gear at Amazon.com and REI. Vitality PLUS members can also get an Apple Watch for as little as $25 by exercising regularly—and then collect points for exercising. Points help keep you motivated to move every day.
Healthy Mind: Improving Mental Well-Being
Stressors are everywhere in daily life. For 68% of us, financial difficulties are the biggest stressor of all.11 And this can have a big impact on health, productivity and general quality of life.
Your mental health is linked to your overall well-being. That’s why sleeping well, meditation and yoga, all of which support your mental health, can also improve your overall health. Research shows a chronic lack of sleep, or getting poor quality sleep, increases the risk of high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and depression.12
Vitality helps you stay motivated to de-stress by rewarding you with points for meditation and de-stressing exercises. And with Vitality PLUS, you could get a free subscription to Headspace—an app that helps you meditate.
About The John Hancock Vitality Program
For more than 150 years, John Hancock Insurance has provided important financial protection for the future. But we believe we can do more for our customers. That’s why we introduced the John Hancock Vitality program, a first-of-its-kind of life insurance program that gives you the coverage you need while offering savings and rewards for living healthy.
Vitality GO, our basic version of the program, is included with all John Hancock plans at no additional cost. With Vitality GO, you can get Amazon discounts for your healthy habits, savings up to $15 a month on fresh produce and up to an additional $120 a month on Healthy Savings weekly promoted healthy food items, as well as discounts on fitness devices from Fitbit, Polar, or Garmin, and access to recipes and nutrition experts and resources from the Friedman School of Nutrition Science & Policy at Tufts University.
You can also choose to upgrade your Vitality program membership to Vitality PLUS,13 which gives you access to even more rewards, including:
Up to 15% in annual life insurance premium savings14
Earn the latest Apple Watch® for as little as $25 plus tax (with regular exercise) or get a free Fitbit® device15
Up to $600 in annual savings on fresh fruits and vegetables, with additional savings up to $120 a month on Healthy Savings weekly promoted items16
Entertainment and shopping rewards and discounts from name brands like Amazon.com, REI, Starbucks, and more
A free subscription to HeadSpace®, a top-rated meditation app17
Exclusive discounts of up to 50% on bookings at Hotels.com, which includes more than 350,000 hotels around the world18
Life insurance that rewards you for living a healthy life.
1 Yoon, P.W., Bastian, B., Anderson, R., et al. (2014, May 2). Potentially preventable deaths from the five leadings causes of death—United States, 2008-2010. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. 63(17)369-389. Accessed from http://www.cdc.org/mmwr/pdf/wk/mm6317.pdf
2 Urban, L.E., Weber, J.L., Heyman, M.B. et al. (2016, April). Energy contents of frequently ordered restaurant meals and comparison with human energy requirements and US Department of Agriculture database information: a multisite randomized study. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 116(4)590-598. Retrieved from https://jandonline.org/article/S2212-2672(15)01736-0/abstract
3 Oaklander, M. (2017, April 24). Your meal has six times more salt than you think. Time. Retrieved from http://time.com/4746932/sodium-salt-fast-food/
4 Tiwar, A., Aggarwal, A., Tang, W. et al. Cooking at home: a strategy to comply with U.S. dietary guidelines at no extra cost. American Journal of Preventative Medicine. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2017.01.017
5 De Nardi, M., Pashchenko, S., and Porapakkarm, P. (2017, October). The lifetime costs of bad health. Retrieved from http://www.nber.org/papers/w23963
6 Murray C.J., 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.
7 Warburton, D., Nicol, C., and Bredin, S. (2006, March 14). Health benefits of physical activity: the evidence. U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health. 174(6) 801-809. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1402378/
8 Flegal, K.M., Graubard, B.I., Willamson, D.F. et al. Excess deaths associated with underweight, overweight, and obesity. JAMA, 294(5): 552-553. doi:10.1001/jama.293.15.1861
9 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. FastStats: obesity and overweight. Available from http://cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/obesity-overweight.html
10 The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the American Stroke Association, and the American Heart Association. A Nation at Risk: Obesity in the United States, A Statistical Sourcebook. Dallas, TX: American Heart Association, 2005.
12 National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. “Brain basics: Understanding sleep.” Retrieved from https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Understanding-Sleep
13 To participate in the John Hancock Vitality PLUS Program, you must elect the Healthy Engagement rider. For each year you are eligible to participate in the John Hancock Vitality Program, you have an opportunity to earn credits based on healthy actions you take. Every year, these activities result in Vitality Points, which are used to determine a Vitality Status, which then determines the amount of credits applied to your policy’s cash value. These credits may lower your premium or improve your cash value accumulation potential. The Vitality GO program is subject to state approval.
14 Premium savings are in comparison to the same John Hancock policy without the Vitality program. Annual premium savings will vary based upon policy type, the terms of the policy, and the level of the insured’s participation in the John Hancock Vitality PLUS program.
15 Apple Watch program is not available in New York or Puerto Rico. Apple Watches ordered through John Hancock Vitality may not be shipped to addresses in Guam. Once you become a Vitality PLUS member and complete the Vitality Health Review (VHR), you can order Apple Watch by electronically signing, at checkout, a Retail Installment Agreement with the Vitality Group, for the retail price of the watch. After an initial payment of $25 plus tax, over the next two years, monthly out of pocket payments are based on the number of Standard Workouts (10,000 to 14,999 steps) and Advanced Workouts (15,000 steps) or the applicable Active Calorie thresholds. The step counts required for Standard and Advanced Workouts are reduced for members beginning at age 71+. One-time upgrade fees plus taxes apply if you choose (GPS + Cellular) versions of Apple Watch, larger watch case sizes, certain bands and case materials. For more information, please contact a John Hancock representative. Apple is not a participant in or sponsor of this promotion. Apple Watch is a registered trademark of Apple Inc. All rights reserved.
16 HealthyFood savings are based on qualifying purchases and may vary based on the terms of the John Hancock Vitality Program. The HealthyFood program is currently not available in Guam.
17 Based on internal data from Headspace.com, About Us, accessed from: https://www.headspace.com/about-us. This feature is not available in New York.
18 Hotels.com discounts are not available in New York. Depending upon the amount of coverage and policy type purchased, Hotels.com discounts are valid for either two nights or six nights per program year. The amount of discount will vary based upon policy type, coverage amount, and the Vitality Member’s Vitality status (Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum).
REI is not affiliated with the John Hancock Vitality Program. REI does not sponsor, endorse or have any responsibility for this promotion.
Vitality is the provider of the John Hancock Vitality Program in connection with Life insurance policies issued by John Hancock. Vitality Rewards may vary based on the type of insurance policy purchased for the insured (Vitality Program Member) and the state where the insurance policy was issued. John Hancock Vitality Program rewards and discounts are only available to the person insured under the eligible life insurance policy. Rewards and discounts are subject to change and are not guaranteed to remain the same for the life of the policy.
Insurance policies and/or associated riders and features may not be available in all states. Insurance products are issued by: John Hancock Life Insurance Company (U.S.A.), Boston, MA 02116 (not licensed in New York) and John Hancock Life Insurance Company of New York, Valhalla, NY 10595.