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Humana Weight Watchers Enrollment Grows Due to Oprah Deal

Dec. 18, 2015 –  Humana confirmed a 40% increase in monthly enrollment of its program with Weight Watchers for October, the same month Oprah Winfrey announced she was taking a 10% stake and Weight Watchers’ shares soared.

“We did see an enrollment spike in our Weight Watchers program in October,” Humana spokesman Jeff Blunt said. “It’s also notable that enrollment in the Humana/Weight Watchers program had been trending up at an average rate of 9% per month for the four months prior to October. In October, enrollment jumped to 19% over September.”

Humana said it was not able to disclose “raw enrollment data,” but would do so in January. When the program was announced, Humana said Weight Watchers has access to 2.3 million Humana customers in “qualified health plans” with enrollees fully insured by their employer.

The Humana-Weight Watchers deal provides Weight Watchers to qualified health plan members for six months with “no out of pocket” costs and then members get a “discounted rate thereafter. Ms. Winfrey’s investment was disclosed at a key time in the health benefits sector, given most employers and insurers are in the middle of open enrollment.

Marketdata Commentary:

This is obviously good news, but the question is whether this is a one shot deal, or can WTW cement deals with other large healthcare systems as well? Why stop at Humana? The model is the same for any insurer.

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