Indianapolis -- Anthem Inc., one of the nation’s largest health benefits companies, announced a new national partnership with Western Governors University (WGU) to offer eligible Anthem associates across the country a virtually free graduate degree. Anthem is one of the first companies in the nation to provide a program that allows employees to complete a graduate degree with minimal out-of-pocket costs. This new benefit is available to any Anthem full-time or part-time employee who works 20 or more hours per week and has been employed at least six months. WGU will provide eligible Anthem associates with a five percent discount on tuition and offer 20 $1,000 scholarships toward a master’s degree program. Combined with Anthem’s Education Assistance Program, the out-of-pocket tuition costs of the first year of the program may be reduced to just $175. Anthem offers associates tuition reimbursement up to $5,000 annually through its Education Assistance Program. “Anthem is committed to offering its associates a robust rewards package that goes beyond salary and health benefits,” said Jose Tomas, chief human resources officer at Anthem, Inc. “Our partnership with WGU reinforces our commitment to providing education and development support to all our associates. Anthem is investing in the partnerships and programs that help enrich the lives of its associates to build a better company that is more responsive to its customers and competitive in the health care industry.” Designed to meet the needs of working adults, WGU’s competency-based learning model makes it possible for students to fit studying into their busy lives. While WGU’s online degree programs are rigorous and challenging, students are able to earn their degrees without sacrificing work, family, and financial obligations. Students complete courses as soon as they demonstrate that they have mastered the materials, enabling them to move quickly through material they already know and spend more time on what they still need to learn. As a result, many students are able to accelerate their studies, finishing faster and saving money—the average time to complete a bachelor’s degree is about two and half years. WGU’s tuition is charged at a flat rate each term and covers all coursework completed in that time. WGU offers graduate degree programs in health professions, information technology, business, and teaching. "At WGU, we are committed to changing lives through education,” said WGU President Scott Pulsipher. “Our academic programs are developed to help our graduates meet evolving workforce competencies. By working with partners like Anthem, we expand educational opportunities for working adults and help address critical talent needs." About Anthem, Inc. Anthem is working to transform health care with trusted and caring solutions. Our health plan companies deliver quality products and services that give their members access to the care they need. With over 73 million people served by its affiliated companies, including nearly 40 million within in its family of health plans, Anthem is one of the nation’s leading health benefits companies. For more information about Anthem’s family of companies, please visit www.antheminc.com/companies. About WGU Established in 1997 by 19 U.S. governors with a mission to expand access to high-quality, affordable higher education, online, nonprofit WGU now serves 79,000 students nationwide and has more than 75,000 graduates in all 50 states. Driving innovation as the nation’s leading competency-based university, WGU has been recognized by the White House, state leaders, employers, and students as a model that works in postsecondary education. In less than 20 years, the university has become a leading influence in changing the lives of individuals and families, and preparing the workforce needed in today’s rapidly evolving economy. WGU is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, has been named one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies, and was featured on NPR, NBC Nightly News, CNN, and in The New York Times. Learn more at www.wgu.edu.