As part of its mission to provide quality healthcare, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama (Blue Cross) today announced a three-year partnership with well-being improvement leader Healthways (NASDAQ: HWAY) to begin offering the award-winning SilverSneakers ® Fitness Program to nearly 42,000 eligible members in Alabama. SilverSneakers, the nation’s leading exercise program designed to keep older adults active and healthy, will be available statewide to members of the Blue Advantage ® PPO plan effective January 1, 2013.
Using proven methodologies based upon more than 16 years of science and outcomes, the SilverSneakers Fitness Program increases physical activity in older adults, resulting in higher well-being and lower healthcare costs. Physical activity can reduce the risk of certain chronic diseases, relieve symptoms of depression, help adults maintain independent living, and enhance overall quality of life.
“We realize the importance physical activity plays in maintaining and improving health,” said Dr. Dow Briggs, Senior Vice President of Business Operations for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama. “The SilverSneakers program allows us to offer our Blue Advantage PPO members the opportunity to incorporate activity into their daily lives that is designed specifically for their needs. Our hope is that this program helps them feel better, reduces their risk of disease, and improves their quality of life.”
Strength training is recommended as part of a comprehensive physical activity program among older adults and may help to improve balance and decrease risk of falls. 1 SilverSneakers engages participants in more frequent strength training, aerobic, and flexibility exercise through access to a variety of venues and programming designed specifically for older adults that incorporates social experiences.“For 75 years, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama has provided healthy lifestyle opportunities to Alabamians,” said Ben R. Leedle, Jr., Healthways president and chief executive officer. “By offering the SilverSneakers Fitness Program to their Blue Advantage PPO members, Blue Cross is confirming this longstanding commitment by providing members with access to a user-friendly, proven program that provides a unique combination of exercise and social support designed to enhance participant health and well-being.”