CHAPEL HILL, N.C. and NASHVILLE, Tenn. – In a continuing effort to promote well-being and prevention to its older-adult members, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) and Healthways (NASDAQ: HWAY), the leading well-being improvement company, have agreed to offer the award-winning SilverSneakers® Fitness Program to BCBSNC’s eligible Blue Medicare Supplement members beginning June 1, 2011. SilverSneakers, the nation’s leading social support and exercise program designed to keep older adults healthy, has been available to BCBSNC’s Blue Medicare HMO and PPO members since January 1, 2010. The new agreement brings the total of BCBSNC members eligible to participate in the SilverSneakers program to 180,000.
“At Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, we understand the importance of exercising throughout life,” says Gary Bolt, Vice President of Individual Markets for BCBSNC. “Physical exercise has been linked to better health as well as an overall sense of well-being, making it important for individuals of all ages to find programs that fit their lifestyle. Healthways’ SilverSneakers program has proven successful at meeting this need.”
Eligible individuals can join the award-winning program at no additional cost and enjoy the fitness, fun and friends for which SilverSneakers is known. The popular program is designed exclusively for older adults and taught by certified instructors, offering an innovative blend of physical activity, healthy lifestyle direction and social opportunities.
“We are very pleased that BCBSNC will be offering SilverSneakers through its Medicare Supplement Plan this year,” said Ben R. Leedle, Jr., Healthways President and CEO. “As with their HMO and PPO members, we are confident BCBSNC’s Blue Medicare Supplement members will find that SilverSneakers makes exercising an enjoyable and socially rewarding experience while helping to prevent or manage chronic disease.”
Research has demonstrated SilverSneakers improves the health and well-being of participants through its unique combination of exercise and social support. A study sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found SilverSneakers provided tangible health benefits for high-risk members. Members with diabetes who were active in SilverSneakers were admitted to the hospital less often, had lower inpatient care costs and had significant reduction in overall health care costs after only a year of participation.
SilverSneakers’ robust network provides eligible members with access to more than 11,000 participating fitness and wellness facilities throughout the country. Many sites offer amenities such as exercise equipment, treadmills and free weights, and the signature SilverSneakers fitness classes. Additional signature classes, such as YogaStretch and SilverSplash®, are available at select locations.
Healthways is the leading provider of specialized, comprehensive solutions to help millions of people maintain or improve their health and well-being and, as a result, reduce overall costs. Healthways’ solutions are designed to keep healthy people healthy, reduce health-related risks and optimize care for those with chronic illness. Our proven, evidence-based programs provide highly specific and personalized interventions for each individual in a population, irrespective of age or health status, and are delivered to consumers by phone, mail, Internet and face-to-face interactions, both domestically and internationally. Healthways also provides a national, fully accredited complementary and alternative Health Provider Network and a national Fitness Center Network, offering convenient access to individuals who seek health services outside of, and in conjunction with, the traditional health care system. For more information, please visit healthways.com.
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina:
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is a leader in delivering innovative health care products, services and information to more than 3.7 million members, including approximately 900,000 served on behalf of other Blue Plans. For 77 years, the company has served its customers by offering health insurance at a competitive price and has served the people of North Carolina through support of community organizations, programs and events that promote good health. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Access BCBSNC online at bcbsnc.com.