March 02, 2015

Florida health insurer offers free preventative care to its policy holders

Orlando, FL – The YMCA of Central Florida today announced a collaboration with Florida Blue, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, to provide free preventative diabetes care to policy holders who have pre-diabetes or are at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. The coverage will be provided through enrollment in the 12-month YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program.

“To have a partner like Florida Blue makes such a bold statement and is an unbelievable story of their commitment to making Central Florida a healthier community,” said John Cardone, Vice President of Health Strategies, YMCA of Central Florida.

This collaboration supports the Accountable Care organization model set by the Affordable Care Act, where a set of health care providers—including primary care physicians, specialists, and hospitals, work together collaboratively to accept collective accountability for the cost and quality of care delivered to a population of patients.

The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program resulted from a study by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) which showed how healthier eating, increasing physical activity and losing a modest amount of weight could lead to better health in participants and an overall reduction of new Type 2 diabetes cases. Programs like the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program have been shown to prevent or delay new cases of Type 2 diabetes by 58 percent and as much as 71 percent in adults over the age of 60.

“We know that preventing diabetes is critical for the health of the community and for the health of each individual member.” said Tony Jenkins, Central Region President, Florida Blue. “By taking away the barrier of cost for this evidence-based, Center of Disease Control approved program, we believe we can curb the rate at which Type 2 diabetes is impacting this community.”

Regular classes are led by trained Lifestyle Coaches at YMCA Family Centers and in workplaces in Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Lake, Marion and Brevard counties. The program includes 16 weekly sessions that help people make simple lifestyle changes ─ things like eating healthier, increasing physical activity and losing modest amounts of weight. Weekly sessions are followed by eight months of personalized, one-on-one support with providers to help participants reach their long-term health and wellness goals.

For more information on the YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program, please contact the YMCA of Central Florida at 407-644-3606 x255, or email [email protected]. For more information on Florida Blue, visit www.floridablue.com

About the YMCA of Central Florida

The YMCA of Central Florida is one of the area’s largest nonprofits committed to strengthening communities across Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Brevard, Lake and Marion counties and the local communities it serves. It is a diverse organization of men, women and children joined by a shared commitment to Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility. Each day 35,000 Central Florida residents are impacted by the Y when a mentor inspires a child, individuals make healthy choices and a community comes together for common good. In 2014, this YMCA Association of over 1,800 employees across engaged over 235,000 residents and invested, during a challenging economy, $10.2 million in its local communities. The YMCA of Central Florida also provided $9.4 million in financial assistance to children and families, which supported lasting personal and social change.

About Florida Blue

Florida Blue, Florida’s Blue Cross and Blue Shield company, is a leader in Florida’s health care industry. Our mission is to help people and communities achieve better health. Florida Blue has approximately 4 million health care members and serves 15.5 million people in 16 states through its affiliated companies. Florida Blue is a not-for- profit, policyholder-owned, tax-paying mutual company. Headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla., it 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.floridablue.com

###