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Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Connecticut Launches Innovative New Program for Cities and Towns
Date:3/4/2009

"Anthem Alliance" will provide a Collaborative Health Care Solution for the Municipal Market

NORTH HAVEN, Conn., March 4 /PRNewswire/ -- In an effort to help stem the ever-rising costs of chronic diseases and support local employers in helping their workers achieve and maintain healthier lifestyles, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Connecticut has launched Anthem Alliance.

"Anthem Alliance is a collaborative health care solution designed specifically for the Connecticut municipal market," said David R. Fusco, president, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Connecticut. "The program offers a multi-step strategy that provides important clinical care programs, appropriately aligned with benefit plan designs, to yield healthier members and, hopefully, lower costs."

Fusco added that the new program, available to the municipal market, represents a collaborative approach to one of America's most pressing health issues.

"Anthem has been an established industry leader in Connecticut for more than 50 years, and many of our municipal customers have been with us on this journey through several decades of health care change," Fusco noted. "We strongly believe that now is time to take the next step and embrace a strategic alliance with our municipal partners that engages members in their personal health and well-being; enhances member benefits with health care management programs and services; and transforms member benefits to optimize health outcomes."

More than 100 Connecticut municipal employers joined Anthem for an exclusive introduction of Anthem Alliance last month. At the event, participants heard from renowned obesity expert and key note speaker David Katz, M.D., and enjoyed a health fair that highlighted Anthem Alliance programs and services. Katz discussed the obesity epidemic in the United States and the numerous diseases directly associated with obesity, including Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. His overall message was the need for individuals to take personal accountability for their health and overall wellbeing.

The Anthem Alliance strategy addresses the rising epidemic of chronic diseases associated with lifestyle choices and health behaviors by offering tools to empower individuals to take necessary steps to live healthier lives. According to the National Institutes of Health, for example, more than 65 percent of American adults are overweight or obese. Carrying extra weight increases the chances of developing serious health problems such as heart disease, stroke and certain kinds of cancers, as well as Type 2 diabetes.

"So many serious diseases can be prevented, or at least delayed, by moving towards a more normal weight," said Peter Bowers, M.D., medical director at Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield. "Anthem Alliance is a unique program that engages members in their health care decisions and empowers them to take the necessary steps to live healthier lives, whether that is through losing weight or stopping smoking."

In an effort to empower and aid municipal members in improving their overall health and well-being, Anthem Alliance provides a Wellness Manager dedicated to the municipal marketplace. The Wellness Manager will coordinate regional health fairs, publication and distribution of a Municipal Wellness Newsletter and hold Lunch and Learn educational sessions for Anthem's municipal members.

"Anthem provides excellent products and services to its members, and they specifically understand the unique needs of the municipal market," said Bill Husic, executive vice president and actuary at the Lockton Benefit Group. "The introduction of Anthem Alliance couldn't have come at a better time. Health care costs are sky rocketing, and debilitating diseases like type 2 diabetes have become an epidemic. Anthem Alliance offers municipal employees and their families an innovative health care program designed to manage lifestyle-related diseases, while potentially lowering health care costs. Everyone wants to be healthier and save money."

About Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Connecticut

Blue Cross and Blue Shield is the trade name of Anthem Health Plans, Inc., an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. (R) ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Additional information about Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Connecticut is available at www.anthem.com.


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SOURCE Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Connecticut
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