ST. LOUIS, Jan. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Recognizing the need to offer proven preventive health care options to its members, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield today announced it will expand its current partnership with Healthways, Inc. to offer the award-winning SilverSneakers® Fitness Program at no additional cost to Anthem Medicare Preferred Standard and Anthem Medicare Preferred Select members in Missouri beginning January 1, 2010. Developed in 1992, SilverSneakers is specifically designed to meet Medicare beneficiaries' unique health and physical needs. A 2008 CDC-funded study found that members who participate in SilverSneakers are admitted to the hospital less often and have lower overall health care costs. In member surveys, nearly 70 percent of SilverSneakers participants report improved overall health.
"When you combine physical exercise with the social interaction and wellness support of SilverSneakers, you have the recipe for better health," said Krista Bowers, president of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield's Senior Business. "More than ever, older adults are recognizing the benefits of regular physical activity and that's why we are giving our members access to an innovative fitness program designed to meet their physical and social needs."
SilverSneakers members receive access to more than 9,400 various participating locations, including YMCAs, Jewish Community Centers and Curves®, throughout the country. Many sites offer amenities such as fitness equipment, treadmills and free weights, and the signature SilverSneakers classes, designed specifically for older adults and taught by certified instructors. Additional signature classes, such as YogaStretch and SilverSplash® may be available at select locations. Because nearly 60 percent of SilverSneakers members are new to the fitness center scene, each location has a specially trained Senior Advisor(SM) to assist members in utilizing fitness center resources and classes.
To enroll in SilverSneakers, Anthem Medicare Preferred Standard and Anthem Medicare Preferred Select members are asked to go to a participating fitness center and show their health plan ID card. Fitness center staff will assist with quick and easy enrollment as well as provide a tour of the location. For more information and to find a participating fitness center near you, visit www.silversneakers.com or call 1-888-423-4632.
About Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Missouri
In Missouri (excluding 30 counties in the Kansas City area) Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is the trade name for RightCHOICE® Managed Care, Inc. (RIT), Healthy Alliance® Life Insurance Company (HALIC), and HMO Missouri, Inc. RIT and certain affiliates administer non-HMO benefits underwritten by HALIC and HMO benefits underwritten by HMO Missouri, Inc. RIT and certain affiliates only provide administrative services for self-funded plans and do not underwrite benefits. Independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. ®ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. Additional information about Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Missouri is available at www.anthem.com.
About the Healthways SilverSneakers® Fitness Program
SilverSneakers is offered by Healthways, Inc., an industry leader providing specialized, comprehensive Health and Care Support(SM) solutions to help people maintain or improve their health. SilverSneakers was founded in 1992 and is the nation's leading exercise program designed exclusively for older adults, offering an innovative blend of physical activity, healthy lifestyle and socially-oriented programming proven to reduce the health care costs of participants. The unique program is offered at more than 9,400 participating fitness and wellness centers, YMCAs, and Curves® locations in all 50 states and may be available at no additional cost (other than any medical plan premium) to eligible Medicare and group retiree health plan members. For more information on SilverSneakers, call 888-423-4632 or visit www.silversneakers.com .
SOURCE Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Missouri