BLUE CROSS: Offers Discounts For Alternative Care
Blue Cross of California announced yesterday the introduction of "Healthy Extensions," a program offering members "significant discounts" on alternative care and wellness products. The program is not a covered benefit, but rather a discount program available to any Blue Cross member in an individual or small-group plan. It will be extended to large- business customers early next year. Through Healthy Extensions, members will have access to a network of alternative service providers -- including hypnotherapists, massage therapists and yoga instructors -- who have contracted with Blue Cross to provide services at special discounted prices and who have passed Blue Cross' screening process. The program also provides discounts on a variety of products such as health club memberships, nutrition programs, vitamin supplements and health- related books. To provide these discounts, Blue Cross has negotiated arrangements with such well-known names as Pritikin, NordicTrack, 24-hour Fitness, the Everlife Store, American Specialty Health and Wellness, Essentials by Ethical Nutrients and the Home Fitness Club. "Our members are more invested than ever in maintaining healthy lifestyles, whether they work out at a gym, attend a yoga class or take the latest nutritional supplement," said David Helwig, senior vice president of individual and small-group services. "By developing a network of alternative services, we can support them in these positive efforts," he added. Blue Cross of California, which serves 4.4 million Californians, is a subsidiary of WellPoint Health Networks Inc. (Blue Cross release, 11/3). Click Blue Cross to read previous coverage of the health insurer.This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.