Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education



First Advisor

Mitch Nasser

Second Advisor

Annie Alameda

Third Advisor

John W. Plunkett


The purpose of this mixed-methods study was to examine the impact that incentivized medical insurance premium rates have on wellness plan participation and aggregate wellness results at a Midwestern private, four-year university. Leveraging the Health Belief Model, the researcher sought to compare aggregate wellness results and wellness program participation before and after the medical insurance premium incentive program was implemented. The researcher utilized Likert-scale questions followed by open-ended questions to gain insight into participants’ perceptions of the wellness incentive program. The quantitative portion of this study applied Thorndike’s theory of connecting “A specific response is connected to a specific stimulus when it is rewarded” (Knowles et al., 2020, p. 24). The quantitative data consisted of a convenience sample provided by the third-party administrator, or TPA (Fraenkel et al., 2015, p. 11).

The results from this study revealed that the participants’ prevalence of major health conditions, emotional health risks, and personal health score components were not significantly different from the TPA benchmark data in 2018 and 2019. The qualitative data revealed that participants are more likely to participate in the wellness program for the incentivized insurance premium. Additionally, most respondents selected mental health as their preferred wellness activity, indicating an opportunity for future wellness initiatives at the studied institution.


Copyright 2022, Candace Terry.

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