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Connecting Health and Wellness Boosts Bottom Line

The Principal introduces employee health improvement program

April 6, 2010 (Des Moines, IA) - As American workers rebuild they are focused on spending less and saving more according to recent research from the Principal Financial Well-Being IndexSM. Now there is a way for employers to help by giving workers a chance to spend less on health care while encouraging them to lead a healthier lifestyle.

The Principal Value-Based Health BenefitSM is a new health program that integrates health and wellness benefits. The new approach gives financial incentives to employees who choose to engage in preventive medical care and healthy behaviors.

"Healthy employees have fewer absences, are more productive while at work and are less likely to get injured. It's simple. A healthy work force saves money and contributes to a healthier bottom line," said Jerry Ripperger, director of business development for the Principal Financial Group®. "Our new program gives employees concrete, financial reasons to become more engaged in their own health care and accountable for their health-related choices."

Designed to increase employee engagement in health and wellness, the value-based benefit model provides two different benefit options. Employees who participate in health improvement activities, such as preventive screenings and educational seminars, receive a better health benefit often at a lower cost. In addition to lower premium contributions, the better benefit includes things like lower deductibles, co-payments and out-of-pocket maximums. Those who elect to not participate will have a lesser benefit level often at a higher cost.

Other features of the Value-Based Health Benefit program include:

  • A wellness program focused on risk identification and improvement through year-round coaching and education.
  • Reduced costs for members with special health conditions who follow maintenance medication guidelines.
  • Financial incentives to seek preventive care through reduced out-of-pocket expenses.
  • Comprehensive member education available in print, online or in person.

"By tying wellness to health benefits, we begin to see an evolution where adopting healthy lifestyles becomes part of the overall workplace culture," notes Lee Dukes, president of Principal Wellness Company. "After all, the best claim discount we can offer our customers is a claim that never occurs."

The new program is available for self-funded clients of The Principal®. For more information, visit

About the Principal Financial Group

The Principal Financial Group® (The Principal®)[1] is a leader in offering businesses, individuals and institutional clients a wide range of financial products and services, including retirement and investment services, life and health insurance, and banking through its diverse family of financial services companies. A member of the Fortune 500, the Principal Financial Group has $284.7 billion in assets under management[2] and serves some 18.9 million customers worldwide from offices in Asia, Australia, Europe, Latin America and the United States. Principal Financial Group, Inc. is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol PFG. For more information, visit

Insurance underwritten by Principal Life Insurance Company.

The Principal Financial Group and The Principal are registered service marks of Principal Financial Services, Inc., a member of the Principal Financial Group.
As of December 31, 2009.

Call 515.246.4907 or see the full Media Relations contact list.

Call 515.246.4907 or see the full Media Relations contact list.

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