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Anthem Rewards Employers for Healthy Behaviors
Date:5/14/2008

Woodenboat Publications first small business to receive wellness discount

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine, May 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, in partnership with the Maine State Chamber of Commerce, is pleased to announce that Woodenboat Publications of Brooklin is the first small business in Maine to qualify for a wellness discount through Chamber BlueOptions. Woodenboat Publications will receive a 2 percent discount on its health insurance premium as a result of its employees participating in specific wellness activities.

The wellness discount offered through the Chamber BlueOptions program is for small business groups that have 25-50 enrolled employees. The criteria for the wellness discount are that 75 percent of eligible employees complete a health risk assessment on-line and 25 percent of the employees participate in Anthem Rewards. The discount is earned after the business has participated in the program for one year, at the time of renewal of the Chamber BlueOptions.

Anthem Rewards is a program that rewards members who log in and record their physical activity to earn points that can be redeemed for free gifts. Recent studies show that employees who participate in physical activity increase their energy and productivity levels and take fewer sick days.

"There is a growing awareness in the business community about the importance of wellness in controlling health care cost increases," said Anthem President Dan Corcoran. "This first-in-Maine wellness credit helps Maine's small businesses begin the conversation with their employees about the importance that lifestyle choices play in achieving good health." Corcoran noted that obesity, tobacco use, and a lack of physical activity all contribute greatly to health care costs in Maine.

Employers benefit from wellness programs through healthier, more productive and more satisfied employees.

The wellness discount required Maine Bureau of Insurance approval at the time that the Chamber BlueOptions product was approved for sale in Maine. "Many small businesses want to increase awareness of the importance of wellness," Corcoran said, "and we believe our wellness discount will inspire more Maine small businesses to actively engage their employees in these discussions."

Chamber BlueOptions is a suite of seven insurance products. Typically a small business would have a more limited choice of insurance plans from which their employees could choose and a requirement that 75 percent of eligible employees participate to qualify for group coverage. The Chamber BlueOptions product requires only 60 percent of eligible employees participate.

"We are pleased to recognize the efforts of Woodenboat Publications and their employees to qualify for our first discount on premium for their wellness activities," said Don Antonucci, director of Small Group sales for Anthem. "Anthem believes that giving small businesses in Maine more insurance options and an incentive for wellness activities makes good sense for our company and for Maine's economy."

Chamber BlueOptions is available to local and regional chamber members through their insurance broker or through the Web site http://www.chamberblueoptions.com

About Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Maine

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is the trade name of Anthem Health Plans of Maine, Inc., and 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 Maine is available at http://www.anthem.com .


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SOURCE Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield
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