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Incentives in statutory health insurance bonus schemes - Communication as an underrated precondition of success

Viviane Scherenberg () and Gerd Glaeske
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Viviane Scherenberg: ABS Computer GmbH – Fachagentur für edv-gestützes Marketing

Zeitschrift für Nachwuchswissenschaftler - German Journal for Young Researchers, 2009, vol. 1, issue 1, 45-61

Abstract: Aim - Bonus schemes within German statutory health insurance (GKV) use monetary incentives to promote health-conscious behaviour, particularly amongst risk groups. The idea is to exploit a latent potential for participation in money-saving preventive measures. First studies suggest that incidental effects (good risks) are more common than prevention effects. The purpose of the article is to present factors contributing to the successfulness of incentive schemes. Methods - To outline the findings of current research, an analysis of the literature was carried out. By law, sickness funds in Germany have to report on savings made. This kind of report portrays cost-efficiency but does not provide an assessment of general learning with regard to optimal practice. The analysis therefore also included studies from commercial areas in order to identify possible success factors and research needs. Results - The results of the literature analysis show that not only do the core elements of bonus schemes play a significant role, but additional elements (reminder systems, removing barriers) also help to increase the participation rate in prevention measures. Conclusion - In order to stimulate health-conscious behaviour, more attention should in future be paid to the removal of barriers to information, knowledge, and empowerment.

Keywords: Bonus programme; Health insurance funds; Communication; Prevention; Incentives; Motivation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I11 I18 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2009
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