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WellPoint Recognized as an American Heart Association Fit-Friendly Worksite

Worksites take steps to decrease health care expenses, increase productivity

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.”

Platinum-level employers:

  • 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 healthy lifestyle.

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.

WellPoint, Inc.
Gene Rodriguez, Public Relations Director
317-488-6168
geraldine.rodriguez@wellpoint.com

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