New York supermarket awards bonuses for saving money on health costs

By Small BusinessFOXBusiness

Stew Leonard's health-care program saving the supermarket millions

Stew Leonard's owner Stew Leonard on how the health-care program the supermarket chain started helped save money for the company and its employees.

Stew Leonard’s, a chain of supermarkets in Connecticut and New York, is giving employees a bonus to shop around for health care, Stew Leonard’s owner, Stew Leonard, told FOX Business on Monday.

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“People we found didn’t know what health care costs,” Leonard told Stuart Varney on “Varney & Co.”  “For instance if you have to go get a colonoscopy -- $2,800 you would have to pay -- most people don’t even know how much it costs. You can go get the same thing by sometimes the same doctors for $1,500.”

With health care costs for businesses and individuals on the rise, Leonard decided to start a health and wellness program to educate employees on lifestyle choices, making better financial decisions associated with healthcare providers and the importance of preventative care.

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According to Leonard the program, which was implemented in 2011, has saved the company millions of dollars.

“The average trend over the last five years is a little under 7% increase in health care,” he said. “We partnered with Cigna, which has been a big help to us. Our increase has been a little under one percent.”

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