While Americans of all ages are susceptible to contracting COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that people with serious, underlying health conditions are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Such conditions include diabetes, obesity, heart conditions and more.
The latest Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) Health of America report shows that people who exercise just five or more times a month decrease the prevalence of both behavioral and chronic medical conditions, which could otherwise lead to serious complications should they contract COVID-19.
With gyms, community centers, and other fitness related services closed across the country and most Americans facing stay at home orders, the need for home-based wellness solutions has never been greater. BCBS companies across the country are providing members and their communities with any array of virtual health and wellness related classes.
Virtual fitness classes
- Previously an add-on service available to members whose employers had purchased it, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota (BCBSND) temporarily expanded their Wellbeats service to all members in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The digital solution offers hundreds of virtual fitness classes, nutrition classes and goal-based challenges to engage all members of all fitness levels and ages in their health journey.
- In partnership with their local NBA team, the New Orleans Pelicans, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana (BCBSLA) is sponsoring #FitnessFriday on their social media channels. A series of videos showcases fitness ideas from professional basketball players who are staying active at home.
- Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island is hosting free, live exercise classes on Facebook. Classes are held several times a week and include Pilates, yoga and stretching. Many classes are appropriate for and targeted toward senior populations.
- To replace their in-person fitness classes offered at their community centers and retail stores, Florida Blue , Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois are offering virtual workouts to keep their regulars engaged and healthy while stuck at home.
- Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona (BCBSAZ) has updated their existing partnership with Body by Jake, called "Get Fit Don't Quit," to meet members' unique needs during COVID-19. The homegrown program now includes new COVID-19 playlists that can be accomplished at home with minimal, household props. The program also encompasses thought leadership from fitness icons and BCBSAZ leadership, as well as nutritional and motivational support.
- BCBSLA is offering free wellness coaching videos on their Facebook and YouTube pages. Videos include their "Romaine Calm and Carrot On" series, which provides nutritional advice from on-staff registered dietitians, as well as virtual "chats" with a doctor.
- Blue Shield of California is now offering access to their Wellvolution platform to Medicare and Medicaid populations—both in need of additional wellness support at this time. The digitally-based lifestyle, medicine and health platform allows each member to customize and curate health programs to meet their goals and needs.
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 health care coverage for one in three Americans.