Agreement Brings SilverSneakers Fitness Program Access to 47,000 MembersNASHVILLE, Tenn., Dec 03, 2009 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Healthways, Inc. (NASDAQ: HWAY) and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) today announced an agreement to provide the Healthways SilverSneakers(R) Fitness Program, the nation's leading exercise program for older adults, to 47,000 Blue Medicare HMOSM and Blue Medicare PPOSM members beginning in January 2010.
The award-winning SilverSneakers Fitness Program offers an innovative blend of physical activity, healthy lifestyle direction and social opportunities that help Medicare-eligible individuals to take greater control of their health and maintain an active, independent lifestyle. Studies have found older adults who participate in SilverSneakers are admitted to the hospital less often, have lower overall healthcare costs and a significantly lower risk of depression.
"While regular exercise is a crucial part of healthy living for people of all ages, it is particularly effective in preventing or managing chronic diseases for older adults," said Rene Ellington, Healthways' leader for SilverSneakers client management. "SilverSneakers makes exercising an enjoyable and social experience, and we're pleased to partner with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina to provide this valuable program to Blue Medicare HMO and Blue Medicare PPO members."
"We know our members want to stay healthy and active, and this benefit helps them do just that," said Drew Narayan, director of marketing for BCBSNC. "There's no additional cost to our members, and they can access health clubs in their community or use the walking program. And on top of it all, it's fun."
With the SilverSneakers premier network, eligible BCBS of North Carolina members will receive access to a variety of participating fitness and wellness locations. Many sites offer amenities such as fitness equipment, treadmills and free weights, in addition to the signature SilverSneakers classes designed specifically for older adults and taught by certified instructors. Signature classes, such as YogaStretch and SilverSplash(R) may also be available at select locations. A designated staff member will assist members along the way.
With the addition of more than 6,000 Curves(R) locations to the SilverSneakers network in 2009, eligible members now have even more options for getting fit, having fun and making friends. There's even an exercise option for members living 15 miles or more from a SilverSneakers participating location. SilverSneakers Steps is a self-directed physical activity and walking program available to members who want to get moving toward a healthier lifestyle.
Blue Medicare HMO and Blue Medicare PPO are offered by PARTNERS National Health Plans of North Carolina, Inc, a subsidiary of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC). PARTNERS was the first insurer in North Carolina to offer a Medicare Advantage, and offers the highest rated plan for quality according to the Medicare Options Compare Tool. BCBSNC 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 76 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 http://cts.businesswire.com/ct/CT?id=smartlink&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.bcbsnc.com&esheet=6112747&lan=en_US&anchor=www.bcbsnc.com&index=1&md5=0c843aac8d2fc6c213e7beccfd1317b0.
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 help healthy individuals stay healthy, mitigate and slow the progression to disease associated with family or lifestyle risk factors and promote the best possible health for those already affected by disease. 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, offering convenient access to individuals who seek health services outside of, and in conjunction with, the traditional healthcare system. For more information, please visit http://cts.businesswire.com/ct/CT?id=smartlink&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.healthways.com&esheet=6112747&lan=en_US&anchor=www.healthways.com&index=2&md5=e41cdc16d352838214ae1c5b3bc3541a.
SOURCE: Healthways, Inc.
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