UnitedHealth Group Honors Jack in the Box® Restaurants for Innovative Health Benefit Program
Restaurant chain wins 2006 Apex Award for expanding health coverage to part-time employees
Minneapolis (June 12, 2006) – UnitedHealth Group today announced that Jack in the Box® has received a 2006 Apex Award, an honor bestowed upon employers who have exceptionally innovative health care benefit strategies.
The restaurant chain, based in San Diego, Calif., was honored for its leadership in extending health benefits to a population traditionally not offered coverage: part-time restaurant employees. A pilot program born out of those efforts, called UnitedHealth Basics®, has helped the company reduce uninsured rates among its workers while also shrinking employee turnover for plan participants to a record low.
“At a time when some companies are finding it difficult to offer any health benefits at all, Jack in the Box has made it a priority to extend affordable, meaningful health coverage to all of its workers, including those who work part time,” said Daryl Richard, editor-in-chief of hub magazine, which operates the Apex Award program. “The company’s innovation and dedication continues to make a significant impact on the lives of part-time employees, few of whom were able to have regular doctor visits or take their children to be immunized due to a lack of insurance.”
In addition to wanting to provide its part-time workers with health coverage, including dental and vision benefits, Jack in the Box was also keenly aware of the challenges involved with recruiting, training and retaining part-time, hourly restaurant employees – especially in an industry known for high turnover. To appeal to prospective and current employees, the company sought a health benefit plan that would not only be valuable and affordable to workers, but also cost-effective for the company.
After realizing that there wasn’t an existing health plan that met its needs, the company worked with UnitedHealth Group to develop a new plan design called UnitedHealth Basics, which was first made available to part-time Jack in the Box employees in December 2004. Three plan options are offered that emphasize wellness and preventive care, such as physicals, mammograms and immunizations; each provides 100 percent coverage of eligible expenses, has no deductible and offers both network and out-of-network coverage.
“Our goal wasn’t simply to offer health care coverage. We wanted to provide affordable, accessible health plans that emphasize wellness and encourage preventive care,” said Raul Duarte, division vice president of Compensation and Benefits for Jack in the Box.
The 2006 Apex Award judging panel included independent leaders from across the health care industry and selected the winners based on their innovative, multi-year strategies and tangible results. “While most industries continue to strive for the richest low cost benefits package for front line staff, the team at Jack in the Box established programs reflecting strong support of corporate responsibility by reducing turnover costs and maintaining high quality for employees and families,” the judges wrote.
Other 2006 Apex Award winners include: ICI, a New Jersey-based specialty chemical company, which was recognized for its efforts to encourage employees to consider health as a component of wealth; the automaker DaimlerChrysler, headquartered in Michigan, which won for an incentive-based wellness program; and Lanco International, a crane manufacturer near Chicago, which was recognized for a program that encourages smoking cessation and physical activity among employees.
About hub magazine and the Apex Award
hub magazine is published by UnitedHealth Group and is distributed three times a year to employers, consultants/brokers and thought leaders in the health care industry. Its mission is to promote a national dialogue on how these stakeholders are helping advance accessibility, quality, simplicity and affordability in health care. For more detailed information about the winning programs, visit www.hubmagazine.net for complete case studies on each company.
About UnitedHealth Group
UnitedHealth Group is a diversified health and well-being company dedicated to making health care work better. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minn., UnitedHealth Group offers a broad spectrum of products and services through six operating businesses: UnitedHealthcare, Ovations, AmeriChoice, Uniprise, Specialized Care Services and Ingenix. Through its family of businesses, UnitedHealth Group serves approximately 70 million individuals nationwide.
About Jack in the Box Inc.
Jack in the Box Inc. (NYSE: JBX), based in San Diego, is a restaurant company that operates and franchises Jack in the Box® restaurants, and is one of the nation’s largest hamburger chains, with more than 2,055 restaurants in 17 states.