Medica, a health insurance company with offices in Sioux Falls, announced that its members in South Dakota now have a new incentive for working out, thanks to the launch of the Fit Choices by Medica program in the Mount Rushmore State. Fit Choices by Medica, the first program of its kind in South Dakota, is designed to help members improve their health and save membership and health care dollars — Medica members enrolled in the program get a $20 monthly health club membership credit just for exercising at a participating health club eight or more days per month.

Participating clubs in South Dakota include all locations of Anytime Fitness, Curves and Snap Fitness.

Fit Choices by Medica has proven results. For example, data from a study of the impact of the program show that Medica members who began a new, regular program of exercise have seen a decrease in claim costs after just two years in the program with an average claim cost decrease of more than 33 percent on a per member per month basis during the period.

Other studies show that helping people stay healthy not only saves lives, it controls health care costs. An estimated 70 percent of all illnesses are due to lifestyle-related causes such as obesity and physical inactivity, and one-half of all medical costs are attributable to illnesses that could be prevented. Fit Choices by Medica is now a standard component of Medica™s offerings to fully insured employers and is being offered as an option for self-insured groups.

We are very pleased to be the first health plan to bring this type of program to South Dakota, said Ted Loftness, M.D., Medica™s vice president of regional health services. About 35 percent of all health care costs are driven by lifestyle choices. Fit Choices by Medica has proven to be effective at motivating people to exercise and make positive lifestyle choices that result in health improvement and lower health care costs. Fit Choices by Medica is just another way we are bringing value and choice to the South Dakota market.

To participate in the program, Medica members present their Medica ID card at a participating Fit Choices by Medica health club. The health club helps the member enroll in the program and tracks their attendance. Qualifying members then receive a $20 credit toward their health club monthly dues. Medica members with questions about the Fit Choices program should contact Medica customer service at the phone number on the back of their Medica ID cards. More information also is available online.

Medica has had a presence in South Dakota for a number of years and opened the Sioux Falls regional office in 2006.

About Medica

Medica is a health insurance company headquartered in Minneapolis and active in the Upper Midwest. With nearly 1.4 million members, the non-profit company provides health care coverage in the employer, individual, Medicaid, Medicare and Medicare Part D markets in Minnesota and a growing number of counties in North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Medica also offers national network coverage to employers who also have employees outside the Medica regional network.

Medica has the highest accreditation status, Excellent, from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA®) for its Minnesota Medicaid HMO plans and commercial health plans in Minnesota and North Dakota. Medica™s vision is to become the community™s health plan of choice, trusted for its integrity, respected for its service, and admired for its commitment to innovation and efficiency.

Greg Bury, 952-992-8437