PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Many a New Year resolution has to do with health: quitting smoking or losing weight, for example.

If that’s you, you might have a friend in your corner: your health insurer.

Dan Tropeano, vice president of client services at United Healthcare of Pennsylvania, says that while his firm considers itself a leader in this, many insurers have wellness programs — and not because of the new federal health care law.

“The reform has had some effects on how we manage our business,” he told KYW Newsradio on Monday, “but it has not changed what we’re doing.  Nor has it changed the services that we give to members from a health and wellness perspective.”

But Tropeano says that just offering these services may not be enough.  He points out that offering rewards works better.

“The most simplest reward is employees getting money back for losing weight or quitting smoking,” he says.  This can result in a fourfold — or better — boost in participation, he claims.

“The bottom line is, if you are living a healthy lifestyle, you are going to enjoy a more active lifestyle and you will avoid certain types of long-term illnesses.”

Reported by John Ostapkovich, KYW Newsradio 1060.

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