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  • November 26, 2012

Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota launches SilverSneakers® fitness program to Medicare Supplement members

Program Provides Access to Proven Fitness Program for Older Adults

FARGO, N.D. (Nov. 26, 2012) — As part of its mission to improve the care and health of its members, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota (BCBSND) today announced it is offering the nationally proven SilverSneakers® Fitness Program to its Medicare supplement members.

SilverSneakers is an exercise program designed to keep older adults active and healthy. It is owned and managed by well-being improvement leader Healthways (NASDAQ: HWAY). There is no additional fee to participate in the program, and it is included with all BCBSND Medicare supplement plans. Members could begin enrolling in SilverSneakers on Nov. 1, 2012.

"We know one of the keys to controlling rising health care costs is to encourage our members to be active," said Tim Huckle, BCBSND chief operating officer. "SilverSneakers is a great benefit to our Medicare supplement members because it provides the opportunity to exercise at fine facilities around the state. At-home solutions are also provided for members who are not able to visit an exercise facility."

BCBSND members can go to www.silversneakers.com/locationfinder.aspx to find their nearest SilverSneakers location. If there is not a SilverSneakers location nearby, BCBSND members can enroll in SilverSneakers Steps, a home fitness program.

Using proven methodologies based on more than 16 years of science and outcomes, the SilverSneakers Fitness Program increases physical activity in older adults, resulting in higher well-being and lower health care costs. Physical activity can reduce the risk of certain chronic diseases, may relieve symptoms of depression, helps to maintain independent living and enhances overall quality of life.

"By providing the SilverSneakers Fitness Program to their Medicare Supplement members, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota is demonstrating its commitment to meeting the needs of its members through a solution designed to enhance the health and well-being of participants," said Ben R. Leedle, Jr., Healthways president and chief executive officer. "SilverSneakers is a time-tested, proven program that provides a unique combination of exercise and social support, and Healthways is very proud to partner with Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota in implementing the program."

The SilverSneakers Fitness Program was founded in 1993 and serves more than nine million eligible members. The Healthways fitness center network offers convenient access to more than 15,000 participating fitness and wellness facilities nationwide.

About Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota
BCBSND is a member-owned, not-for-profit independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. As North Dakota's largest provider of health care coverage, BCBSND is taking BOLD steps to collaborate with doctors, hospitals, clinics and members to ensure affordable access to quality health care in the state. To learn more about BCBSND, visit www.BCBSND.com.

About Healthways
Healthways (NASDAQ: HWAY) is the largest independent global provider of well-being improvement solutions. Dedicated to creating a healthier world one person at a time, the Company uses the science of behavior change to produce and measure positive change in well-being for our customers, which include employers, integrated health systems, hospitals, physicians, health plans, communities and government entities. We provide highly specific and personalized support for each individual and their team of experts to optimize each participant's health and productivity and to reduce health-related costs. Results are achieved by addressing longitudinal health risks and care needs of everyone in a given population. The Company has scaled its proprietary technology infrastructure and delivery capabilities developed over 30 years and now serves approximately 40 million people on four continents. Learn more at www.healthways.com or www.silversneakers.com.