As part of its mission to provide quality, cost-effective healthcare solutions, WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE: WCG) is now offering the Healthways (NASDAQ: HWAY) Prime® Fitness program at no cost to eligible Medicaid members in Georgia.
Built on more than sixteen years of experience and research in engaging health plan members in physical activity, Prime Fitness promotes the benefits of physical activity with a combination of convenient access to facilities and motivational support to encourage program participation. WellCare is among the first health plans in the nation to offer access to fitness programs to its Medicaid members.
“Healthways has a long history of promoting physical activity for adults through the Prime Fitness Network and SilverSneakers Fitness Program®, both of which have successfully motivated millions of people to exercise,” said Ben R. Leedle, Jr., Healthways president and chief executive officer.
“We recognize that there is a real need to make similar programs available to young people, and by offering Prime Fitness to Georgia Medicaid members ages 13 and up, WellCare has chosen to be a leader in addressing the health crisis that is presenting such a significant challenge in Georgia and throughout the country,” said Leedle. “Chronic disease concerns account for a considerable percentage of health spending, and regular physical activity can prevent health issues such as obesity and diabetes that influence health costs and productivity. We are proud to partner with WellCare in confronting this crisis in such a positive and empowering fashion.”
“WellCare’s mission is to help our members lead better and healthier lives,” said David McNichols, WellCare of Georgia president. “Prime Fitness, which we are offering in addition to our standard Medicaid benefits, is just one aspect of our efforts to promote an overall healthy lifestyle.
“Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index® survey findings from 2011 indicate that adult Medicaid enrollees in Georgia demonstrate a more frequent incidence of obesity, diabetes, asthma, high blood pressure and high cholesterol than non-Medicaid enrollees, all of which have a significant impact on health,” said McNichols. “Looking specifically at younger Georgians, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 27 percent of Georgia teens in grades 9-12 are overweight or obese. These findings underscore the importance of encouraging physical fitness and activity at an early age in the hopes of minimizing the onset of health conditions in adulthood.”
Participants in Prime Fitness have access to fitness and recreation centers throughout Georgia, providing flexible class, equipment and location options. There is no cost to WellCare of Georgia Medicaid members to participate. Members may utilize an online portal to locate participating locations and track their fitness activity over time. WellCare members ages 18 and older are automatically enrolled and need only take their Prime Fitness ID card to the fitness center of their choice. Members ages 13-17, or those who do not have a Prime Fitness ID card, can call the customer service number on their WellCare member ID card for further information on enrollment options and requirements.
About WellCare Health Plans, Inc.
WellCare Health Plans, Inc. provides managed care services targeted to government-sponsored health care programs, focusing on Medicaid and Medicare. Headquartered in Tampa, Florida, WellCare offers a variety of health plans for families, children, and the aged, blind and disabled, as well as prescription drug plans. The Company serves approximately 2.6 million members nationwide as of June 30, 2012. For more information about WellCare, please visit the Company's website at www.wellcare.com.
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.
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