DURHAM, N.C. – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) announced the launch of a new pilot program, created in collaboration with the YMCA of the Triangle, the NC Alliance of YMCAs and the North Carolina Medical Society Foundation. The pilot program will provide qualifying Triangle-area Blue Cross NC members with Medical Memberships, a first-of-its kind community integrated health collaboration.

“As a practicing physician, I know how critical comprehensive, integrated care is to a patient’s overall health,” said Patrick Conway, MD, President and CEO of Blue Cross NC. “This pilot program is an important step toward transforming health care in our state, lowering costs, and providing our members with proven, effective programs to improve their health.”

The three-year, $1.5 million investment in the pilot program will provide eligible members with a bundle of services which includes:

  • Subsidized YMCA Medical Membership that provides access to state-of-the-art fitness equipment and group exercise classes in all YMCA locations in the Triangle (Wake, Durham, Chatham, Orange, Lee, and Johnston counties) for Blue Cross NC group and individual lines of business. Blue Cross NC will pay a portion of an individual’s membership. The YMCA will waive joining fees for participants in the pilot program. Medical members will pay a $25 co-pay each month during the length of their evidence-based program.
  • Coordination with members’ care teams through qualified YMCA staff members who will help patients reach their health and wellness goals and communicate progress with their physicians
  • Access to YMCA evidence-based programs that address a member’s specific needs. Available programs include:
    • Moving for Better Balance
    • Diabetes Prevention Program
    • Healthy Weight and Your Child
    • LIVESTRONG at the Y
    • Weight Management Program
    • Blood Pressure Self-Monitoring

Medical Memberships will be prescribed to patients who have an identified health risk or clinical diagnosis such as pre-diabetes, hypertension, adult and child weight management needs, cancer or the risk of falls due to age or illness. A long-term strategy for the partnership is to offer YMCA Medical Memberships across the state.

“Our YMCA has a longtime history of enhancing and adapting programs to address critical needs in the community. But we can’t do that alone,” said Doug McMillan, YMCA of the Triangle CEO. “Thanks to this partnership with Blue Cross NC, medical members can participate in evidence-based programs and care coordination in YMCAs where they can take advantage of Y programs and services.”

The YMCA will begin taking referrals immediately with programs starting in the fall. To learn more about medical memberships, visit YMCATriangle.org/Medical-Memberships.

About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina:
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) improves the health and well-being of our customers and communities by providing innovative health care products, services and information to more than 3.9 million members, including approximately 1.1 million served on behalf of other Blue Plans. Since 1933, we have worked to make North Carolina a better place to live through our 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. Visit Blue Cross NC online at bluecrossnc.com. All other marks are the property of their respective owners.

About YMCA of the Triangle:
The YMCA of the Triangle is the region’s leading nonprofit that has served Raleigh, Durham, Cary and the broader region for more 160 years. Today, the YMCA of the Triangle serves more than 230,000 people at 16 facility branches in Wake, Chatham, Durham, Orange and Lee Counties. The YMCA operates three overnight camps: Camp Kanata in Wake Forest, Camp Sea Gull and Camp Seafarer in Pamlico County. Our Y strengthens the community through programs that support youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Visit YMCATriangle.org to learn more.