October 20, 2020
An informal poll at our recent clergy gathering at St. Christopher confirmed what I’ve suspected. Few of the clergy and church staff members participating in the Provincial Health Insurance program (United Healthcare – UHC) are aware of a valuable benefit that can put $3 per day in your pocket. It’s called the Motion program, and here’s how it works.
The Motion program rewards participants for being active. The primary measure of that is steps. Meet three separate activity targets each day and you can earn $1 for each… every day. If your spouse is insured by the plan and participates, they can also earn $3 per day.
The three activity targets are simple. The acronym is FIT.
- F – Frequency: Take six brief walks over the course of your day, at least an hour apart. They need to be 300 steps within 5 minutes. Complete that target, earn a dollar.
- I – Intensity: Take one brief airport-paced walk. That means 3000 steps within 30 minutes, averaging 100 steps/minute. Do that every day, and earn another dollar.
- T – Tenacity: Take at least 10,000 steps per day. Any time. Your choosing. Take all day. Do it, and earn yet another dollar, every day you meet the target.
The tool for getting credit for your steps is an activity “tracker.” The Motion Program has a number of different options you can choose from and will contribute $55 toward your first device. I’m wearing a Garmin Vivosmart-4 that cost me nothing. The Applewatch some of you are already wearing may be compatible.
To sign up, all you will need is your policy information from your insurance card. Sign up online and request your preferred tracker. In my experience, it arrived within a week. Download the Motion app from United Healthcare as well as that for your chosen device. Most presume working in conjunction with your cell phone, though you can use a laptop as well.
Then start walking and start saving. The money earned goes into a Health Savings Account, set up with Optum bank. The funds can then be used for any healthcare related expense, for any member of your family. Together, my wife and I have saved over $900 so far this year. [Note: For swimmers and cyclists, there’s easy ways to get credit for those activities as well. Give me a call and I’ll explain. The former need to make sure they choose a waterproof device.]
If the pandemic has given you occasion to become more active, this is a chance to reinforce that behavior by making it pay. If you needed a nudge to get started, here it is. You’re welcome!
Those with questions can feel free to contact me, the Rev. Canon Jim Lewis.