National Walk@Lunch Day® celebrates the power of walking

The Michigan Blues will participate in National Walk @ Lunch Day on April 30th. This event, championed by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, encourages people to take steps toward better health—even in the midst of a busy work day.
http://www.youtube.com/v/HN-Ft_-lJ_Q&hl=en_US&fs=1&color1=0x006699&color2=0x54abd6Thirty Blues plans across the U.S. will celebrate National Walk @ Lunch Day this year. Participants are invited to extend their lunch break and walk for 30 minutes. The truth is, walking away from work—for at least a few minutes—has the potential to re-energize employees and increase productivity. Walking also keeps the heart healthy, burns calories and increases energy levels.
The Blues have a long history of encouraging people to walk. With the formation of WalkingWorks, the Blues have spread the word that walking provides significant health benefits. This Walking Works web site encourages people to begin a walking regimen and offers the tools necessary to make it happen. People can log their steps online, purchase pedometers, find health tips, and more.
So, grab your co-workers, friends and/or family members and take a walk during lunch on April 30th. And then, keep it going! Find the time to walk as much as possible. Your body and mind will thank you for it.

2009 National Walk@Lunch Day

Breathe easy – Michigan goes smoke-free

Beginning May 1, smoking won’t be allowed in most public places in Michigan. What does this mean for Michigan residents? The Dr. Ron Davis Smoke Free Air Law prohibits smoking in public places such as businesses, restaurants, bars, shopping malls, bowling alleys, concert halls, arenas, museums, mechanic shops, health facilities, nursing homes, education facilities and child care centers.

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For non-smokers, it’s good news. It means enjoying dinner at a favorite restaurant or bowling with the family without being exposed to secondhand tobacco smoke. For smokers, the news may be a little irritating for those who enjoy smoking a cigarette while watching the big game at a bar or while spending an evening at a night club.
Whatever the case, non-smoker or smoker, everyone should agree that smoke-free air is cleaner air, and clean air is fundamental to good health. So, why not use this as an opportunity to stop smoking altogether? Easier said than done, right?

Kicking the habit is not easy but, a Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan program called Quit the Nic can help. Quit the Nic matches Blues members with registered nurse health coaches to help them develop action plans to quit smoking.


Interested in Quit the Nic? Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan members call
1-800-775-BLUE (2583).  Blue Care Network members call 1-800-811-1764.
To learn about Michigan’s smoke-free law, visit www.michigan.gov/smokefreelaw.

Mid-Michigan communities get their walk on

One contest. Nine Mid-Michigan communities. Over 1000 participants. The goal? To stay active—even when Michigan’s winter weather makes us want to curl up on the couch.
This fitness contest is known as the Community Partners in Health Winter Warm-Up and it included a challenge for Mid-Michigan area mayors to get their communities walking and moving. All participating communities received grant money—courtesy of the Blues—to put toward a program that will bring the community to a healthier future.

This year, the contest ran from January 23rd through March 27th and within this time frame, the participants were encouraged to walk each Saturday at the Lansing mall. They used pedometers to count their steps and they logged their totals online using the free WalkingWorks tool. The community that logged the most steps online won first place.

The city of Charlotte came in first after logging over 33,149 miles, so they took home the largest grant. They plan to use the money to improve existing walking trails and also create new ones within their community.  
The people involved in this event were passionate and full of energy. They loved talking about walking, and the positive effect that staying active has on their life. The underlying theme for this event was: Walking Works!  
And it really does. A few years ago, event participant Rose Borst changed her life by walking and since then, she has lost over 125 pounds. Rose is one of many community members who came every Saturday within the ten week program to walk inside the Lansing Mall. Similarly, event participant, John Gillespie, lost close to 200 pounds and you could find him walking at the mall, too.
People talk about a lack of motivation to be active in winter months, but this event is proof that, although challenging, there is always a way to make it work.  

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In the photo: participating mayors, event coordinators and walking advocates Jon Stanton and Jodi Davis

New Healthy Blue OutcomesSM Makes Health Care More Affordable

What if there was a plan that made health care more affordable for those who actually set and achieve healthy goals? Well now there is… 
We’re proud to announce the launch of Healthy Blue Outcomes, a groundbreaking outcome-based health care plan. Healthy Blue Outcomes is a new, innovative PPO that is part of the Blues’ Healthy Blue ChoicesSM suite of products, services and resources designed to promote personal wellness and member accountability. Learn more at bcbsm.com/outcomes.


The overall goal of this new product is to improve patient health and lower costs. This goal is achieved by providing people with the knowledge and resources to take control of their health by tying financial rewards to health outcomes as opposed to participation. Lowering your BMI, quitting sm
oking and controlling your blood pressure are just a few of the healthy outcomes you can be rewarded for achieving.
Both employees and employers WIN from participating in Healthy Blue Outcomes. Employees earn rewards by meeting health measurement criteria and by completing our online health assessment. Employers gain potential savings through increased productivity, reduced employee absenteeism and lower health care costs.
Let us know your thoughts about this new product, and if you think this is a health care option you’d consider for you or your company.

“Get Moving U.P.” revs up winter activity of 500 in Blue Cross and WELCUP’s challenge

They could have just hibernated like some Upper Peninsula critters. Instead, more than 500 U.P. folks took on or turned up their winter activities. Payoffs? Healthier lifestyles. More energy. Weight loss. All in a six-week winter fitness challenge. It’s another activity the Michigan Blues sponsors, with partners such as the Wellness Council of the U.P., to help lead all Michiganders to a healthier future.

Your health is your greatest asset

Good health lets you to live your life to the fullest. It also helps you keep your money in your own pocket.
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Tobacco and obesity-related complications, along with chronic diseases, are largely preventable. Over time, they can cause major health problems and add to what you pay for your health care.

The Michigan Blues recognize these issues and want to help lead all Michiganders to a healthier future.

One way we’re doing that is by offering Healthy Blue ChoicesSM, our innovative products and resources that focus on helping our members live healthier so they feel better and save money.

Our Healthy Blue Incentives PPOSM, and Healthy Blue LivingSM, an HMO plan from Blue Care Network, offer incentives to help everyone stay on track. Our wellness program, BlueHealthConnection®, includes a health assessment, online health coaching programs, a nurse hotline, targeted outreach and the latest health tips.

When it comes down to it, the bottom line for each product is essentially the same: By committing to better health, both you and your employer save money.