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HAP Offers Online Wise Health Care Consumer Tool

Supports local employers in creating a healthier workforce

SOUTHFIELD – January 29, 2008 – Health Alliance Plan (HAP) has launched an interactive tool designed to empower consumers to play a more active role in their health and health care decisions. HAP debuted the Wise Health Care Consumer course at its Worksite Wellness Forum in Southfield attended by 40 local companies.

The Wise Health Care Consumer (WHCC) course, developed by HAP and O/E Learning, Inc. of Troy, is now available free of charge to the public. HAP also recently distributed a CD-version of the course to more than 800 metro Detroit employers.

Francine Parker, HAP President and Chief Executive Officer, views the course as an offspring of HAP's collaboration with area employers and vendors to deliver market-leading health and wellness solutions. "Consumers can use this educational resource to make informed decisions, use resources effectively, and identify how to stay healthy through approaches that are easy to adopt," Parker said.

The interactive course contains the following nine modules and includes audio narration, learning tools, and more:

  1. Choosing and Using a Health Plan
  2. Choosing a Personal Care Physician
  3. Prescription Drug Management
  4. Emergency vs. Urgent Care
  5. Preventive and Self-Care
  6. Chronic Disease
  7. Patient Safety
  8. Privacy Rights
  9. HAP Resources

Terri Kachadurian, Director, Worksite Health and Wellness Programs at HAP encouraged employers to launch the WHCC in February (National Wise Health Consumer Month), and referred to a recent survey commissioned by eHealth, Inc. that showed most consumers lack a basic understanding of common health insurance terms and their own health insurance coverage.

The nationwide telephone survey of 1,010 U.S. adults found:

  • Less than one-quarter of respondents (23%) reported they were very sure of what the terminology used in their health insurance policy actually means
  • Even basic terms proved difficult, with few respondents reporting an understanding of acronyms such as HMO (36%), PPO (20%) or HSA (11%). 
  • Respondents are comfortable seeking information about health coverage online.

Additional survey results are available at

"There is a growing need for employers to help their employees learn how to maximize their health benefits and reduce their out-of-pocket health care costs, understand when and where to seek care and learn how to prevent disease," said Kachadurian.

Kachadurian and her team work directly with employers to customize worksite wellness programs that fit their workforce and their budget. Hundreds of HAP customers have easily incorporated free or low-cost HAP wellness programs into their worksite.

In 2007, HAP supported more than 180 companies through health screenings, cooking demonstrations, health fairs, Walk for Better Health, HAP Weight Wise at Work programs, and more. Employers are also utilizing HAP's innovative, online consumer tools, such as iStrive for better health, a health risk appraisal and behavior change program; and Member Health Reminder, which tells employees when they are due for routine preventive services.  

About HAP
Headquartered in Detroit, Health Alliance Plan is a nonprofit health plan serving more than 540,000 members and 2,000 employer groups. HAP is a subsidiary of the Henry Ford Health System, one of the nation's leading regional health care systems. The health plan serves companies of all sizes through the flagship HMO, PPOs, Medicare Advantage plans, experience-rated, fully insured and self-funded products, and consumer-driven health plans with compatible health savings accounts. The National Committee for Quality Assurance awarded HAP's commercial HMO and HAP Senior Plus, its Medicare Advantage HMO, Excellent Accreditation. 


Susan Schwandt, APR

Tiffany Baker, MA

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