New On-Demand Videos Bring Living Well to Life

May. 07, 2020

Diana Butler BassAs the ELCA’s wellness leader, Portico is always on the hunt for innovative benefits and services that can help its faith-centered membership live well. In January 2020, Portico proudly introduced Being, a faith-based on-demand video platform featuring nationally recognized experts capable of bringing wellness learning to life.

To meet the specific needs of ELCA-Primary health plan members, Portico collaborated with the platform’s innovative creator, The Big Know, to create a customized version of its learning platform. The Being academy is the product of this collaboration, offering a combination of original content, Portico-customized content, and several courses shaped by Portico and taught by leading faith experts.

Josh Smith, senior director of products, emphasized that ELCA wellness solutions need to have a strong faith foundation. “We understand the needs of our members and, for years, have helped them explore wellness through their faith. By coupling The Big Know’s expertise with Portico’s knowledge of the ELCA community, we’re able to offer a high-caliber learning platform designed specifically for our members — at no additional cost to them.”

The Secret Sauce

What makes Being shine is the caliber of its experts and the cinematic quality of its courses. Members can stream high-quality video learning featuring a host of entertaining, nationally-recognized experts, including:

  • NPR’s financial expert, Chris Farrell
  • Motivational speaker and stress expert, Jenny Evans
  • Celebrity chef, Andrew Zimmern
  • Award-winning journalist and author of “Do Nothing,” Celeste Headlee

While nearly every course includes spiritual elements, Being also offers courses focused on faith.

  • Religion and culture scholar, Diana Butler Bass, offers a course on gratitude and spiritual recharging.
  • A course on vocational well-being features ELCA rostered ministers sharing ways to avoid burnout and grow as spiritual leaders.

When COVID-19 brought dramatic change and social isolation to our lives, The Big Know tapped its experts, and is now publishing a podcast titled “Beyond Normal.” This interview-based offering explores self-care and wellbeing in the context of uncertain, unprecedented times, and is available on Being and other common podcast players.

Already, ELCA-Primary health plan members are making good use of the Being academy. During the first quarter of 2020, ELCA visitors stayed on the platform an average of 42 minutes — nearly 15 minutes longer than The Big Know’s average visit.

“Our hope is that members will visit Being often throughout the year,” said Smith. “Guided by the experts and enticed by new course offerings, we want them to discover new ways to enhance their longevity, purpose, and resiliency, and to share that learning in their congregations and communities. This is how we at Portico carry out our ministry, by making it easier for our members to embrace every day, for the sake of the world.”

Continuing a Commitment to Personalized Benefits

Since 2008, Portico has provided ELCA-Primary health plan members with wellness-focused, industry-leading benefits, services, and resources. In 2017, Portico refined its strategy, choosing to seek out and invest in programs designed to give members more personalized support. Livongo, Omada, and Portico Care Coordinators by Quantum were all introduced to help members who use health care frequently find their way to heathier lifestyles and purchase health care more cost-effectively.

The Being platform compliments these programs, said Smith, by providing personalized support to all of our members, regardless of health status. “We’re thrilled with the way members are engaging with our personalized programs and experiencing very real, positive health outcomes. And we’re equally pleased with the cost savings these programs are creating – for the members who use them and the ELCA health plan. But we wanted to extend personalized support to members who aren’t yet regular users of health care. And now they have Being, this dynamic learning tool for exploring and defining their own well-being, across all dimensions of the Wholeness Wheel.”