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Health plan rolls out cash-back perk for healthy purchases

February 4, 2015
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Start Garden passes $1 million in investments and funds two mobile apps
Benefit is a mobile shopping app that lets consumers combine their everyday purchases with charitable giving. Courtesy Benefit

A health plan is rolling out a new cash-back perk for its members to incentivize healthy lifestyles through a mobile app shopping app.

Priority Health in Grand Rapids said last week that it has launched its Member Perks program by leveraging the Benefit app.

The program allows members who use the app to earn cash incentives for making healthy purchases at national retailers.

The Benefit app has received funding from Start Garden in Grand Rapids, a $15-million seed fund.

Shopping perk

Priority Health members can use the Benefit app to purchase digital gift cards from a network of national retailers: Starbucks, L.L. Bean, Amazon, Athleta, Nike, Wholefoods, Foot locker, REI, Sports Authority, Target, Cabela’s, Columbia Sportswear, Champ Sports and more.

Developed for both the iOS and Android mobile platforms, members can download the app through iTunes or Google Play before walking through a step-by-step process to begin earning cash back on health-related purchases.

After selecting the Beneficiaries and Life Expenses options and clicking the Priority Health button “support my health lifestyle,” users can select a retailer to buy a digital gift card.

When members redeem the gift card’s barcode or number online or in the store, they can earn five to 25 percent cash back for every dollar spent.

Priority Health members will receive an email with a digital check each month once they have hit a $10 minimum in savings.

Healthy choices

Joan Budden, chief marketing officer at Priority Health, said the Member Perks program was built to support Priority Health members as they purchase health-related merchandise like running shoes, athletic gear and sports equipment.

“We are always looking for new ways to improve the health and lives of our members,” Budden said.

Priority Health offers other member-perk programs to support healthly choices: HealthFit, a discount program for members participating in local training programs or health clubs; MyGo Points, a Facebook application rewarding users for being active.

Benefit

Founded by Derik Lolli of the Grand Rapids area, the Benefit app is part of the Start Garden portfolio.

The mobile shopping app has received $130,000 in funding from Start Garden since 2012.

Benefit received an initial Start Garden investment of $5,000 on Dec. 13, 2012. Based on its success after 90 days, Benefit earned $75,000 in additional funds on March 19, 2013 during a Start Garden Update Night. The app received another $50,000 in funding on Oct. 23, 2013.

Benefit has more than 90 retailers in its national network.

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