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Carrier Benchmarks Employee Health

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Wellmark Inc. has used the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index to gauge the well-being of its workers and of its health plan members.

Wellmark, Des Moines, Iowa, the parent of Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield, is the first employer to use the index for its employees, and the first health carrier to use the index for its health plan members.

Wellmark employees had an average score of 7.97 on a scale of 1 to 10, and Wellmark plan members had an average score of 8.2.

Iowa residents as a whole had an average score of 7.21, and South Dakota residents had an average score of 7.07.

Healthways Inc., Nashville, Tenn., and the Gallup Organization, Princeton, N.J., worked together to develop the index.

Employers and health plans should be able to use the index information to find ways to improve individual, employer and community health, according to Healthways and Gallup.