The Pay Off: A Case Study at Life Time Fitness

Life Time Fitness and insurance provider Medica paired for a study of 3,249 participants enrolled in the Fit ChoicesSM program, which offers a $20 monthly credit from Medica toward the payment of members’ monthly dues if they exercise at least eight days per month at their chosen Life Time Fitness center. To ensure comparability with regard to health care expenditures before and after participating in the Fit Choices program, a control group of equivalent size, demographics, health status and health care consumption habits also was established. Health care costs examined included facility claims, physician claims and prescription claims, which were combined to derive total expenditures.

New Life Time Fitness members who exercised at least eight days per month after joining the Fit Choices program achieved an overall 33.6 percent per member per month average claim cost decrease as compared with the comparison test group in their second year of program participation. These participants also realized the following claims cost decreases relative to the control group:

  • 64 percent decrease in facility claims
  • 13 percent decrease in physician claims
  • 9 percent decrease in prescription claims

The study also revealed differences in visits to inpatient, emergency room and outpatient health care service providers among the same comparison groups. Non-program participant control group members realized an average of:

  • 64 percent more visits to inpatient facilities
  • 105 percent more visits to emergency room facilities
  • 43 percent more visits to outpatient facilities
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