Wellness Edition, Number 2

In This Issue


Plan To Get Healthy

A recent survey of NCMS Plan participating practices indicates that less than 10% have a wellness program in place. This statistic may not surprise you, but it does present a significant opportunity for practices to promote wellness and to translate wellness into lower costs.

Wellness programs start with a solid action plan. One that is comprehensive in creating a "culture of wellness". With so many responsibilities, we know that developing an action plan to tackle wellness and thinking through all the steps can seem next to impossible. To help, the NCMS Plan has made available a sample Wellness Plan at http://www.medicalmutualgroup.com/mmic/media/pdf/wellness_resources/Sample_Wellness_Plan.pdf.

This Wellness Plan begins with the formation of a Wellness Team. Promoting wellness should be a team effort, not the responsibility of one person. Identify key employees, physicians, and executives that should play a role. For multi-site practices, name a Wellness Ambassador at each site to help communicate and build enthusiasm for the program.

Obtain leadership support for the program. Ensure that there are not mixed signals sent to employees about the value of wellness and the benefits to employees and the practice. Get leaders to not just communicate their support, but demonstrate it in their actions. Ask them to participate in weight-loss challenges or walking programs.

Communicate information about wellness on a regular basis. Every month, send an e-mail, write an article for a newsletter, or post information on a bulletin board about the various wellness programs available through the NCMS Plan. Programs like Health Assessments, BluePoints, Member Health Partnerships, and Online Health Living. Our office can provide you brochures to help you give your employees more details. Also, you have access to online video presentations of these programs at http://www.medicalmutualgroup.com/mmic/employee_benefits/wellness_resources.html under Wellness Resources Presentation Library that make educating employees even easier.

Get Free Stuff!

How many of you reading this article right now do at least thirty minutes of physical activity each day? How many of you receive rewards for doing so? We already know that you certainly receive the reward of improved health and wellness by being active. But did you also know you can receive rewards in the form of gift cards from national retailers and brand-name merchandise? Well get ready, because the NCMS Plan has some very exciting news for you! As a participant in the NCMS Plan, you, your employees and their covered family members are all eligible to enroll in the all new BluePoints program.

The BluePoints program is available to you through the NCMS Plan's administrator, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC). BluePoints is an online physical activity and wellness reward program. You earn points for recording your physical and wellness activities. You can redeem your points for rewards of your choice. Points can be accumulated toward higher value rewards or you can redeem them throughout the year for smaller value rewards. Whether you choose gift cards, merchandise, or decide to donate your reward to charity, you will be taking the steps to better health.

So how can you enroll in the BluePoints program? Log onto http://www.bcbsnc.com/memberservices/ and register if you have not already done so. Once on the Member Services webpage, look for “Rewards and Discounts” and you will see the link entitled “Earn rewards for healthy living – BluePoints.” You will then be directed to the BluePoints Home Page. Click on “Manage your BluePoints.” You will see various activities listed. By clicking on the Physical Activity Tracker, you can log your exercise. The Fruit and Vegetable Tracker allows you to earn points by eating a combination of at least 5 fruits and vegetables each day. Joining Online Healthy Living Programs and making sure you have your routine preventive care will also help you earn points. Just by taking the online Health Assessment you can earn 1,000 points! Points equal rewards and you will be amazed at the variety of rewards you can choose.

When you are ready to redeem your points, you can browse through the merchandise, charities and gift cards available to you. You should receive your reward within 10 business days.

So go ahead and get started! Next time you walk the dog, play tag with your children or work in the garden, you will be earning rewards for the active lifestyle you are living. What a great way to start down the path to health and wellness!

About the North Carolina Medical Society

As the largest physician organization in the state, the North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) is devoted to representing the interests of physicians and protecting the quality of patient care. The NCMS Plan, sponsored by the NCMS, is the only statewide employee benefits plan designed specifically for North Carolina physicians.

For more information about many other benefits of NCMS membership, visit http://www.ncmedsoc.org/.