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National Business Group on Health Recognizes Blue Cross' Wellness Program
Date:7/7/2009

BIRMINGHAM, Ala., July 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama has been honored by the National Business Group on Health (NBGH) as one of the nation's leading corporations for innovative programs promoting a healthy workplace. The company was also recognized for helping its employees and their families make better choices about their own health and well-being.

Blue Cross was among 63 employers that received the Best Employers for Healthy Lifestyles award at the Joint Summit of the NBGH Institute on Health Care Costs and Solutions and Institute on Costs and Health Effects of Obesity. Blue Cross received a Gold Award for its wellness programs.

"We are extremely proud to be recognized for our company's commitment to providing a healthy workplace and to improving our employees' health and well-being," said Phillip Pope, President and Chief Executive Officer of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama. "Our wellness team has worked closely with our associates to inform them about ways to live healthier lifestyles, and this award is a validation of our efforts."

"As one of 63 companies recognized this year for their employee health and wellness programs, Blue Cross is at the vanguard of a national movement to promote a system-wide culture of health emphasizing prevention, exercise and eating right," said Helen Darling, President of the National Business Group on Health on June 24. "Blue Cross is to be applauded for making health and wellness an integral part of their workplace."

Blue Cross' BeHealthy Wellness program is designed to reduce employees' health risks by providing education about healthy lifestyle choices and an environment that fosters healthy behaviors. Regularly offered activities include community walks, prenatal lunch and learn sessions, stress management lunch and learns, biometric screenings, Weight Watchers(R) and LifeSteps(R) (formal weight management programs), National Walk at Lunch Day(SM) and associate recreation leagues. Other resources include a dining center that no longer offers fried foods, a fitness center and walking trail, an associate assistance program, disease management, case management, and Baby Yourself(SM) (a prenatal wellness program). The Chief Executive Officer and executive team have made BeHealthy Wellness a fun, energetic aspect of the corporate culture. Not only do executives participate in the programs and encourage their associates to take part, they also assist in promotions for the programs.

The Best Employers for Healthy Lifestyles awards recognize those employers that have truly embraced a culture of wellness and are working collaboratively to improve their workers' health, productivity and quality of life. The underlying goal of the program is to serve as a catalyst to encourage all employers to take action.

Winners of the Best Employers for Healthy Lifestyles awards were honored in one of three categories: Platinum, for established programs with measurable outcomes; Gold, for creating cultural and environmental changes that support employees who have made a commitment to long-term behavior changes; and Silver, for those employers who have launched significant programs or services to promote living a healthier lifestyle.

About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama, the state's largest healthcare benefits provider, has insured Alabamians for more than 70 years. Blue Cross offers coverage plans to the state's corporations, individuals and senior market. For more information about Blue Cross, visit www.bcbsal.com.

About the National Business Group on Health

The National Business Group on Health is the nation's only non-profit, membership organization of large employers - including 60 of the Fortune 100 - devoted exclusively to finding innovative and forward-thinking solutions to their most important health care and related benefits issues. The NBGH identifies and shares best practices in health benefits, disability, health and productivity, related paid time off and work/life balance issues. NBGH members provide health coverage for more than 50 million U.S. workers, retirees and their families. For more information about the NBGH, visit www.businessgrouphealth.org.


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SOURCE Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama
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