PITTSBURGH & NASHVILLE, Tenn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--As part of its mission to make high-quality healthcare easily accessible, understandable and affordable, Highmark Inc. has extended its long-term partnership with global well-being improvement leader Healthways, Inc. (NASDAQ: HWAY) to offer the award-winning SilverSneakers® Fitness program to eligible members through 2017. SilverSneakers, the nation’s leading exercise program designed to keep older adults active and healthy, has partnered with Highmark since 2004 and is available to nearly 400,000 eligible Highmark Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement and group retiree members in Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
The effectiveness of SilverSneakers is evidenced through a survey of Highmark members who have participated in the program. According to the survey results, 60 percent of Highmark’s SilverSneakers enrollees reported their health as excellent or very good, twice the national average of 30 percent of the general population for older adults, as reported by the Medicare Health Outcomes Survey (HOS). Moreover, 72 percent of Highmark respondents stated their health did not limit them in daily activities, compared to the HOS national average of 40 percent for older adults. In addition, 51 percent of Highmark members engaged in 30 minutes or more of moderately intense physical activity at least four days each week, showcasing the program’s ability to get people active.
“Highmark is focused on ensuring the community has access to a variety of health and wellness initiatives,” said Barbara Gray, Highmark vice president. “SilverSneakers, which helps seniors stay physically active and socially connected, is a terrific example of one of those initiatives. We are pleased to extend our partnership with Healthways so our senior members can continue to benefit from this valuable program.”
Using proven science-based methodologies with more than 20 years of published outcomes, SilverSneakers increases physical activity in older adults, resulting in higher well-being and lower healthcare costs. The program engages participants in more frequent strength training, aerobic and flexibility exercise through access to a variety of venues and programming designed specifically for older adults. SilverSneakers underscores the significant link between fitness and socialization, with nearly 60 percent of members participating in classes with a friend, demonstrating the value of complete emotional and physical well-being to older adults.
“By continuing to offer SilverSneakers through 2017, Highmark is demonstrating its long-term commitment to enhancing the health and well-being of its senior members,” said Ben R. Leedle, Jr., Healthways president and chief executive officer. “Healthways is proud to continue to partner with Highmark in offering a program that is proven to successfully transform participants’ fitness and social activities, health attitudes and health outcomes.”
The SilverSneakers Fitness program was founded in 1992 and serves more than 11 million eligible members. The Healthways fitness center network offers convenient access to more than 15,000 participating fitness and wellness facilities nationwide.
About Highmark Inc.
Highmark Inc. is among the largest health insurers in the United States and the fourth-largest Blue Cross and Blue Shield-affiliated company. Highmark and its diversified businesses and affiliates operate health insurance plans in Pennsylvania, Delaware and West Virginia that serve 5.2 million members. Its diversified health businesses serve group customer and individual health needs across the United States through dental insurance, vision care and other related health businesses. Highmark is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies. For more information, visit www.highmark.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 68 million people on four continents. Learn more at www.silversneakers.com or www.healthways.com.