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Health Team

BCBS challenges policy holders to get healthy

Posted January 23, 2013 5:55 p.m. EST
Updated January 24, 2013 4:19 p.m. EST

Beacon Baptist Church employee Penny Howell has lost 6 pounds so far this year.

She's participating in a Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina health challenge, with an interactive online tool and DVD exercise package designed by Rival Fusion in Cary.

Howell is doing the exercises, using a personalized menu and shopping guide, to fix what's wrong with her diet.

“Just a lot of fast food and eating on the go,” she said. “And this program makes you more aware of what you're putting in your body.”

Howell's employer and pastor, the Rev. Tim Rabon, are taking up the 60 day challenge along with about half of the church staff.

“We want to see them have longevity of life and the ability to function and minister as the Lord's called them,” Rabon said.

They're competing with many employers in the state, vying for cash prizes that could pay for job site health efforts.

“The challenge is focused on those employers that demonstrate the greatest improvement in overall fitness score during that 60 day window,” Blue Cross Blue Shield Vice President Sean Kerns said.

He says better fitness and a lower body mass index is where the real cost savings can found in the state.

“If we reduced our BMI by five percent, we would reduce medical expenses $21 billion over the next 20 years,” he said.

Howell said she likes the program's flexibility because it lets her choose her favorite menus.

“It also gives you a calorie count that you aim for each day,” she said.

Even if her church doesn't win cash prizes she feels that everyone who participates is a winner.