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Press Release

BlueCross BlueShield Named One Of The Top 100 Healthiest Employers In America

-- The only WNY-based company to be recognized --

January 21, 2014

BUFFALO – BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York (BCBS) has been named one of the Healthiest 100 Workplaces in America according to Healthiest Employers, a national leader in employee health analytics and best practices.

The region’s largest health plan was the only Western New York-based company to be named to the list, which recognizes employers of all sizes, regions and industries nationwide for their commitment to employee and community well-being.

“The award is more proof that our employees ‘walk the walk’ when it comes to living up to our healthy changes everything motto,” said Dave Anderson, President and CEO, BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York.

The company was recognized for making innovative strides in adopting a culture of wellness and providing its employees with the necessary resources to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

BCBS offers employees subsidized gym memberships to a state-of-the art onsite fitness center. To complement the fitness center, there is also access to personal fitness trainers and classes offered throughout the day.

For those who find it difficult to stop at the fitness center, employees also have access to the company’s Community Wellness Program. BCBS has partnered with area hospitals, nonprofit agencies, community health educators and fitness facilities to offer health and wellness workshops, classes and support groups that are free for employees.

BCBS has demonstrated a commitment to ensuring employees have access to the healthiest eating options possible. The company’s onsite dining center boasts a healthy sandwich bar, onsite chefs to cook fresh and a “Whole-Sum” food bar. BCBS subsidizes the cost of healthy options, making it less expensive for employees to eat healthy.

The most integral piece in the company’s wellness formula is a series of company-wide campaigns administered on an annual basis to it’ over 1,500 employees.

Three years ago, BCBS developed the Good Life program, a holistic health and wellness program designed to engage the workforce and put them in touch with their health and well-being. The program consists of three steps: a biometric screening, a confidential online health assessment and then, if needed, engaging with BCBS health coaches on a case-by-case basis. Participation in the program results in employees receiving a higher level of health benefits and an increased contribution to their health savings accounts.

Lose to Win is a 12-week team-based weight loss program with a company weight-loss goal of 3%. In the past two years of the program, BCBS employees have lost more than 7,200 pounds, with a 96% completion rate.

Eat to Win is an education-based program that encourages employees to shop, cook and eat healthy. Onsite seminars and live cooking demos are scheduled for employees. Healthy recipes are shared and used in a final “cook-off” competition among participants, with the employees who create the healthiest and tastiest recipes awarded prizes.

This year the company launched “Maintain Don’t Gain,” a weight-management program encouraging employees to leapfrog the traditional “New Years’ resolution” dieting by maintaining their weight through the holidays. In the program’s first year, over 80% of participating employees successfully completed the challenge. 

"The award is being given to our company," Anderson said. "But the honor really belongs to every employee who participated in one or more of our many employee health programs like The Good Life, Lose to Win, Eat to Win, Maintain Don't Gain and so many others."

About BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York
BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York is a division of HealthNow New York Inc., one of New York’s leading health care companies that provides access to quality health care and innovative solutions for members throughout upstate New York. Headquartered in Buffalo, NY, the company is an independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association.   

About Healthiest Employers
Healthiest Employers provides corporate wellness best practices and benchmark data and employee health analytics to employers, providers, carriers, brokers and consultants. This suite of proprietary tools includes Springbuk for intuitive health analytics (Spring 2014), the 360 Insight Series, and Corporate Wellness and Trend Reports for best practices and benchmark research. HE's national Directory helps employers select customer-ranked wellness vendors.

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association is a national federation of 36 independent, community-based and locally-operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies that collectively provide healthcare coverage for more than 106 million members members – one-in-three Americans.  For more information on the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and its member companies, please visit We encourage you to connect with us on Facebook, check out our videos on YouTube, follow us on Twitter and check out The BCBS Blog, for up-to-date information about BCBSA.