Medica MinnesotaCare Members Receive Incentive to Work Out

Medica First Health Plan to Offer Health Club Reimbursement to MinnesotaCare Members

Friday, October 3, 2008 9:00 am CDT

Dateline:

MINNETONKA, Minn.
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"This is a tremendous opportunity to make a positive impact on our members’ health"

MINNETONKA, Minn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Medica today announced it has expanded its Fit Choices by Medica program to Medica MinnesotaCare members age 18 and older. Effective immediately, more than 16,500 Medica MinnesotaCare members are eligible for the program. Medica is the first health plan to offer a health club reimbursement program to MinnesotaCare enrollees.

Medica members who participate in Fit Choices get a $20 monthly membership credit just for exercising at a participating health club location eight or more days per month. Medica members present their Medica ID card at a participating Fit Choices by Medica health club. The health club helps the member enroll in the program and tracks their attendance. Qualifying members then receive a $20 credit toward their health club monthly dues.

Medica is making the Fit Choices program available to its MinnesotaCare to provide them with a tool for improving their health and lower health care costs. Data from a study of the impact of the program show that Medica members who began a new, regular program of exercise have seen a decrease in claim costs after just two years in the program with an average claim cost decrease of more than 33 percent on a per member per month basis during the period.

Other studies show that helping people stay healthy not only saves lives, it controls health care costs. An estimated 70 percent of all illnesses are due to lifestyle-related causes such as obesity and physical inactivity, and one-half of all medical costs are attributable to illnesses that could be prevented. Fit Choices by Medica is now a standard component of Medica’s offerings to fully insured employers and is being offered as an option for self-insured groups.

“This is a tremendous opportunity to make a positive impact on our members’ health,” said Glenn Andis, Medica senior vice president of government programs. “Through the reimbursement we are offering, Medica MinnesotaCare members have improved access to health clubs, which they may not otherwise join. And, as our data show, members who begin a new regular program of exercise can make an improvement in health status and that may in turn lower their health care costs.”

Medica members with questions about the Fit Choices program should contact Medica customer service at the phone number on the back of their Medica ID cards. More information also is available online.

About Medica

Medica is a health insurance company headquartered in Minneapolis and active in the Upper Midwest. With nearly 1.4 million members, the non-profit company provides health care coverage in the employer, individual, Medicaid, Medicare and Medicare Part D markets in Minnesota and a growing number of counties in North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Medica also offers national network coverage to employers who also have employees outside the Medica regional network.

Medica has the highest accreditation status, Excellent, from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA®) for its Minnesota Medicaid HMO plans and commercial health plans in Minnesota and North Dakota. Medica’s vision is to become the community’s health plan of choice, trusted for its integrity, respected for its service, and admired for its commitment to innovation and efficiency.

Contact:

Medica
Greg Bury, 952-992-8437
E-mail: greg.bury@medica.com

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