WellPoint rolls out pilot health program nationally

August 28, 2007

After testing a new kind of wellness program at Eli Lilly and Co., WellPoint Inc. is offering the broad program to all national employers served by its Anthem subsidiary.

WellPoint touts its Healthy Lifestyles program as a help to employers trying to get their workers to make healthy behavior changes in five key areas: tobacco use, weight control, stress control, nutrition and diet, and exercise.

The program includes various incentives and rewards to motivate employees to participate. For example, Healthy Lifestyles pays for free access for employees to a national network of fitness centers and offers discounts to services such as personal trainers and spas.

WellPoint says it can also work with employers to change menus in cafeterias and offer healthier products in vending machines. Healthy Lifestyles also reaches the family members of employees whose family members are covered under the same insurance policy.

"Breaking old habits and developing new, healthier behaviors isn't easy, but it has tremendous benefits for employers and employees alike," said Ken Goulet, president, Anthem National Accounts.

The subsidiary of Indianapolis-based WellPoint tested the Healthy Lifestyles program on seven employers-including Lilly and WellPoint itself. WellPoint now offers the plan to employers in 11 states where it manages the Blue Cross or Blue Shield insurance plans.

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