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Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana announced today that it is partnering with companies around the nation for the third annual National Employee Wellness Month. The health insurer is in the spotlight during a month-long look at industry leaders who have developed successful strategies around prevention and good health for their employees.
Blue Cross joins dozens of the nation’s top employers by pledging support to workplace wellness. National Employee Wellness Month is sponsored by Virgin HealthMiles, a leading provider of technology-based employee health programs, in partnership with the Strategies to Overcome and Prevent (STOP) Obesity Alliance, the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease, and the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation.
Personal health behaviors are prime drivers of chronic diseases (e.g., heart disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, etc.), which account for 75 percent of healthcare costs businesses and their employees incur. Employers like Blue Cross, recognizing this link, have been among the first to develop comprehensive wellness benefits for their employees.
“Employees spend more than half of their waking hours at work. Strategic employers understand that the workplace has significant potential to help employees get healthy together, which drives down costs for health insurance benefits,” said Mike Reitz, president and CEO of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana. “One of the best strategies organizations can employ is to focus on prevention and take a proactive approach to helping employees stay healthy,” Reitz added.
Blue Cross’ award-winning employee wellness program has become a model of how to drive healthy behavior in the workplace. The company created incentive-based goals that encourage employees to maintain healthy weight, eat healthy foods, and use routine work activities as an opportunity to exercise. The company regularly sponsors employee walks and provides an on-site gym for employees to use, which includes a full schedule of fitness classes and health education.
“Being recognized during National Employee Wellness Month is a huge honor,” said Eileen Wilcox, manager of Benefits and Employee Services for Blue Cross. “As a result of our CEO’s vision, we’ve truly engendered a culture here that encourages healthy behavior. Employees walk at lunch and are using our gym regularly. It’s great to see.”
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana
Founded in New Orleans in 1934, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana (BCBSLA) is the oldest and largest Louisiana-based health insurance company. BCBSLA is a not-for-profit, fully taxed mutual insurer, owned by policyholders and governed by a local Board of Directors. It is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.
The company provides group and individual health insurance plans, life and disability insurance, group voluntary products and administrative services to more than 1.4 million members. With headquarters in Baton Rouge and eight district offices, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana employs more than 1,900 Louisianians who are committed to improving the lives of its customers by providing them with health guidance and affordable access to quality care.
Learn more on the company’s website at www.bcbsla.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bluecrossla. Follow Blue Cross on Twitter at www.twitter.com/BCBSLA and CEO Mike Reitz at www.twitter.com/MikeReitzCEO.
ABOUT NATIONAL EMPLOYEE WELLNESS MONTH
Forward-thinking organizations across the U.S. are taking action to control rising healthcare costs and are focusing on prevention as one of the best strategies to counter the trend. National Employee Wellness Month showcases how supportive social communities, such as the workplace, can help to improve employee health and productivity and lower healthcare costs, and how leveraging an individual’s social connections helps create and sustain a workplace culture of health. Together, the supporting National Employee Wellness Month organizations and their employees understand that intelligent health decisions and supportive social communities can create a healthy, more productive workforce. Information and resources about workplace wellness, along with suggested ideas for celebrating National Employee Wellness Month, can be found at www.nationalemployeewellnessmonth.com.
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