Humana, Kurbo partner to help employers offer weight loss coaching to employees' kids

By Aditi Pai

Kurbo HealthHumana has partnered with Kurbo Health, which offers a mobile-enabled program aimed at preventing childhood obesity, to offer its employer customers the option to add a 12-month subscription of Kurbo Health as a wellness benefit for their employees.

Before offering this option to employers, Humana conducted two internal pilots of the offering.

“Employers have begun to realize the impact of childhood obesity in several ways – both through increased medical bills and prescriptions for associated ailments and diseases such as diabetes – and indirectly, through parents’ lost productivity and engagement during the work day,” Kurbo CEO and Founder Joanna Strober said in a statement. “Humana is leading the well-being charge by considering the whole family benefit of assisting employees’ children to get on the path to health.”

The Kurbo Health program, created specifically for children, teens, and their parents, offers users an app that monitors nutrition and activity. It also provides users with subscription-based coaching via text, phone calls, and video chat.

Humana isn't paying for Kurbo, it selling the service to its employer customers and also doing onsite workshops at employers' worksite in exchange for a cut of the sales. Employers that choose to offer Kurbo may pay for some or all of its cost. Strober also told MobiHealthNews that the company is offering employers a better price than direct to consumer pricetag. 

Last summer, when Kurbo commercially launched its program, the company said its program costs anywhere from $40 a month to $75, depending on the plan chosen and amount of coaching included. Kurbo Health's app has been downloaded by more than 50,000 people, according to the company.

While Strober couldn't disclose names of companies, she said Kurbo is also working with five large employers directly as well as a few other insurance companies. Strober added that the company is currently working on a few Medicaid trials to test the efficacy of the program in that population.

In one recent Kurbo pilot, the company found that 88 percent of children reduced their BMI at a healthy rate after using Kurbo coaching combined with its mobile app. These children also reported higher levels of happiness, self-confidence and self-esteem.