Worksites take steps to decrease health care expenses, increase
INDIANAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jun. 11, 2014--
WellPoint, Inc. has been recognized as a Platinum-Level Fit-Friendly
Worksite by the American Heart Association for helping employees eat
better and move more.
“At WellPoint we strive to create an environment where it’s easier to
make healthy choices, provide results oriented wellness programs,
promote overall wellbeing and reward healthy outcomes. In fact, our
wellness programs are a key component of our employee benefits package,”
said Pamela Ventura, director of Wellness Programs at WellPoint. “Our
programs target key health improvement opportunities – move more, stress
less, eat better, practice prevention and stop smoking. We’re committed
to providing the best workplace environment possible and being
recognized by the American Heart Association as a Platinum-Level
Fit-Friendly Worksite reinforces the work we’ve done so far.”
Offer employees physical activity options in the workplace.
Increase healthy eating options at the worksite.
Promote a wellness culture in the workplace.
Implement at least nine criteria outlined by the American Heart
Association in the areas of physical activity, nutrition and culture.
Demonstrate measurable outcomes related to workplace wellness.
WellPoint provides on-site fitness centers or health club
reimbursements, subsidized healthy food options at its on-site
cafeterias, friendly fitness competitions among its associates, weight
management programs and incentives toward the cost of health care
coverage for demonstrating healthy behaviors –promoting an overall
The Fit-Friendly Worksites program is a catalyst for positive change in
the American workforce by helping worksites make their employees’ health
and wellness a priority.
According to the American Heart Association, American employers are
losing an estimated $225.8 billion a year because of health care
expenses and health-related losses in productivity, and those numbers
are rising. Many American adults spend most of their waking hours at
sedentary jobs. Their lack of regular physical activity raises their
risk for a host of medical problems, such as obesity, high blood
pressure and diabetes. Employers face $12.7 billion in annual medical
expenses due to obesity alone. The American Heart Association is working
to change corporate cultures by motivating employees to start walking,
which has the lowest dropout rate of any physical activity.
Recognition is a critical component of the Fit-Friendly Worksites
program. Employers that join this program qualify for official
recognition by the American Heart Association. They are listed on the
program’s national website and qualifying worksites also have the right
to use the program’s annual recognition seal for internal communications
and with external, recruitment-related communications.
“The Fit-Friendly Worksites Program offers a unique, easy-to-implement
opportunity for corporations to increase employees’ physical activity,
which will help improve their health – and their employers’ bottom
line,” said Tina Steinway, American Heart Association Midwest Affiliate
Fit-Friendly representative. “Even people who haven’t exercised
regularly until middle age can reap significant benefits by starting a
walking program. A study published in 1986 in the New England Journal of
Medicine found that some adults may gain two hours of life expectancy
for every hour of regular, vigorous exercise they performed.”
For more information about the Fit-Friendly Worksites program and how it
is helping to improve the health of Americans by focusing on an activity
that is convenient, free and easy, call 1-800-AHA-USA-1 (1-800-242-8721)
or visit heart.org/worksitewellness.
About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is devoted to building healthier lives,
free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. Our mission drives
everything we do. To improve the lives of all Americans, we provide
public health education in a variety of ways. We team with millions of
volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health
policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and
treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s
oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart
disease and stroke. To learn more or join us, call 1-800-AHA-USA1 or any
of our offices around the country, or visit heart.org.
About WellPoint, Inc.
WellPoint is one of the nation’s leading health benefits companies. We
believe that our health connects us all. So we focus on being a valued
health partner and delivering quality products and services that give
members access to the care they need. With nearly 67 million people
served by our affiliated companies including nearly 37 million enrolled
in our family of health plans, we can make a real difference to meet the
needs of our diverse customers. We’re an independent licensee of the
Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. We serve members as the Blue
Cross licensee for California; and as the Blue Cross and Blue Shield
licensee for Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine,
Missouri (excluding 30 counties in the Kansas City area), Nevada, New
Hampshire, New York (as the Blue Cross Blue Shield licensee in 10 New
York City metropolitan and surrounding counties and as the Blue Cross or
Blue Cross Blue Shield licensee in selected upstate counties only),
Ohio, Virginia (excluding the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington,
D.C.), and Wisconsin. In most of these service areas, our plans do
business as Anthem Blue Cross, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Blue
Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia and Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, or
Empire Blue Cross (in the New York service areas). We also serve
customers in other states through our Amerigroup and CareMore
subsidiaries. To find out more about us, go to wellpoint.com.
Source: WellPoint, Inc.
Gene Rodriguez, Public Relations Director