Three-Year Agreement Confirms Health Plan’s Long-Term Commitment to Advancing the Health and Well-Being of Members
MINNEAPOLIS & NASHVILLE, Tenn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- As part of its mission to improve the health of its members through innovative programs and services, UCare today announced a three-year partnership with well-being improvement leader Healthways (NASDAQ: HWAY) to offer the award-winning SilverSneakers® Fitness Program to 125,000 eligible members in Minnesota and 26 counties in western Wisconsin.
SilverSneakers, the nation’s leading exercise program designed to keep older adults active and healthy, will be available effective Jan. 1, 2013, to members of UCare plans, including UCare for Seniors Medicare plan, UCare’s Minnesota Senior Health Options (UCare’s MSHO), and UCare Connect, UCare’s Special Needs BasicCare plan for adults with developmental and physical disabilities, and mental illness. Current members of the UCan! UCare Activity Network fitness program also will be eligible to change their fitness option choice to participate in SilverSneakers.
“We are pleased to offer approximately 125,000 UCare members the opportunity to improve their health and fitness by participating in the SilverSneakers program,” said Ghita Worcester, Senior Vice President, Public Affairs and Marketing, UCare. “We work hard to encourage our members to live healthy lifestyles and take advantage of the many health and wellness options they receive through their membership in UCare plans. SilverSneakers’ expertise, convenient locations, and positive approach to fitness are welcome additions to our preventive health care activities.”
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 health care costs. Physical activity can reduce the risk of certain chronic diseases, relieve symptoms of depression, maintain independent living, and enhance overall quality of life.
Evidence also shows that regular physical activity provides important health benefits for people with disabilities, including improved cardiovascular and muscle fitness, improved mental health, and better ability to do tasks of daily life.1 SilverSneakers engages participants in active behavior change through access to a variety of physical activity venues and programming that incorporates physical fitness and social experiences.
“UCare is committed to helping people of all ages and abilities overcome barriers to care. By offering the SilverSneakers Fitness Program to their members, UCare is confirming this commitment by providing members with access to a user-friendly, proven solution that provides a unique combination of exercise and social support designed to enhance participant health and well-being,” said Ben R. Leedle, Jr., Healthways president and chief executive officer.
The SilverSneakers Fitness Program was founded in 1993 and serves more than 9 million eligible members. The Healthways fitness center network offers convenient access to more than 15,000 participating fitness and wellness facilities nationwide.
UCare (www.ucare.org) is an independent, nonprofit health plan providing health care and administrative services to nearly 300,000 members. UCare serves more people from diverse cultures and more people with disabilities enrolled in Medical Assistance than any other health plan in Minnesota. UCare partners with health care providers, counties, community organizations, and other member-directed groups to create and deliver innovative health coverage plans for:
- Medicare-eligible individuals throughout Minnesota and in western Wisconsin.
- Individuals and families enrolled in income-based Minnesota Health Care Programs, such as MinnesotaCare and Prepaid Medical Assistance Program.
- Adults with disabilities.
- Minnesotans dually eligible for Medical Assistance and Medicare.
UCare addresses health care disparities and care access issues through its UCare Fund grants and a broad array of community initiatives. The health plan received Top 100 Workplaces honors from the Star Tribune in 2010, 2011, and 2012.
Healthways (NASDAQ: HWAY) is the largest independent global provider of well-being improvement solutions. Dedicated to creating a healthier world one person at a time, the Company uses the science of behavior change to produce and measure positive change in well-being for our customers, which include employers, integrated health systems, hospitals, physicians, health plans, communities and government entities. We provide highly specific and personalized support for each individual and their team of experts to optimize each participant’s health and productivity and to reduce health-related costs. Results are achieved by addressing longitudinal health risks and care needs of everyone in a given population. The Company has scaled its proprietary technology infrastructure and delivery capabilities developed over 30 years and now serves approximately 40 million people on four continents. Learn more at www.healthways.com or www.silversneakers.com.
1 US Dept. of Health and Human Services, 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, http://health.gov/paguidelines/pdf/paguide.pdf
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