There are many obvious health benefits associated with being fit. But Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota (BCBS) has started providing an entirely different type of reward—lower health insurance costs.

The Eagan-based health care insurer said Tuesday that is offering a $100 annual credit to individuals who meet four health goals:

• Body mass index (BMI) of 25 or below
• “Bad cholesterol” level of no more than 130 milligrams per deciliter
• Blood pressure less than or equal to 120/80
• No tobacco use

The credits will be offered through a “Healthy Incentives” program available through BCBS’ individual health plans. Healthy Incentives is now available to all Personal Blue health plan members and their spouses, and it will become available on July 1 with the new Healthy Blue insurance plan for individuals.

BCBS claims to have the first plan in Minnesota to offer individual products that have a “built-in financial incentive for achieving good health.”

“Our research shows individuals are taking more accountability for their health, and this is a way to reward them for their achievements in a very direct way—reducing their health care costs,” Kathy Dunmire, vice president of product management for BCBS, said in a statement. “For those who are still working on reaching their health goals, we offer a full suite of wellness programs to help them on their journey.”

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota has more than $9 billion in annual revenue, making it the largest insurer that sells health plans within the state.

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