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East Region

Healthy Benefits program works


DULUTH, Minn. – Essentia’s Healthy Benefits program has had its share of healthy success stories. One of them is Richard Schroeder, an Information Systems network analyst in Duluth.

Richard before Healthy Benefits ... ... after, 30 pounds lighter. 

Inspired to participate in the Healthy Benefits program last year, Richard lost more than 30 pounds and 5 inches at his waist. He’s been able to keep off the weight and the inches, although he admits he would still like to lose more weight.

The secrets to his success? “Nothing miraculous,” he says. “I eat less, make healthier choices and walk 30 minutes a day. Sometimes, I walk longer or add stairs or do push-ups. But just walking – when I used to eat or read at lunch – does the job.”

Richard says he was motivated to lose weight by health concerns, combined with a desire to participate in Boy Scout activities with his son.

Richard now reads nutrition labels and makes time to attend lunch-hour seminars, presented by Essentia Health Registered Dietitian Bonnie Brost, that focus on healthy eating strategies. He also tried the 10,000 Steps Program, but admits “I could only do 5,000 to 7,500 steps on a good day. I never got to 10,000,” he says.

Compliments from friends and co-workers keep Richard motivated. “Sitting fat and happy on my couch in front of the TV left me fat and unhappy,” Richard says. “My work entails sitting and staring at a computer for eight or more hours a day … Making time for exercise has made a huge difference in my life.”

Take your health assesment before June 1

Time’s running out to get a $25 gift card for taking a free online health assessment – part of this year’s Healthy Benefits program. If you complete the assessment before June 1, you’ll be eligible to get a $25 gift card. All East Region employees are eligible to earn the gift card, and spouses who are enrolled in the health plan can earn a gift card, too.

Once you’ve finished the health assessment, you’ll be able to sign up for a wellness program. Complete a program before Sept. 30 and you’ll be eligible for a $10-per-pay period discount on your health insurance next year.

Follow these three simple steps:

  • Take your health assessment at Complete it by June 1 and you’ll earn a $25 gift card.
  • Sign up for a well-being activity before Aug. 1 (see the list of options in the attached PDF).
  • Complete a well-being activity by Sept. 30 and you’ll qualify for the $260 premium discount in 2013.

To take your health assessment:

  • Go to and enter your user name and password.
  • Enter SMDC for the company name.
  • Use your current HealthPartners user name and login. Forgotten your password or have questions? Call (888) 324-2075.
  • If you've never logged in with HealthPartners, register for an account using your health plan member ID number. Non-members can use an employee ID number.


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