Medicaid incentives encourage healthy habits

The Waynesboro Family YMCA is partnering with Virginia Premier Health Plan Inc. encouraging Medicaid recipients to adopt and maintain healthy living habits. A federal grant Program approved in the Affordable Care Act, under the Obama administration, promotes incentives for medicaid recipients who make an effort to control or lose weight, keep blood pressure and cholesterol levels in check or stop smoking.

Chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, bad cholesterol and high blood pressure account for more than 75 percent of the $2.5 trillion the U.S. spends annually on health care, according to data from the Department of Health and Human Services. Cigarette smoking, 10 percent more prevalent among Medicaid enrollees than the population at large, according to the National Center for Health Statistics, and is also the leading preventable cause of death in the U.S.

Medicaid recipients who commit to a healthier lifestyle by visiting the Waynesboro Family YMCA twice per week will receive a free membership, plus, have access to the fitness facility, pool and gyms, along with membership rates for youth development programming such as childcare, swimming lessons, and youth sports.

This incentivized health care program reflects a sharpening emphasis on the role of preventive health in targeting the underlying causes of chronic disease which is a central pillar of the Affordable Care Act agenda. “This allows the Y to provide programs and activities to more children and families.” says Nikki Brown, Community Relations Director of the Y, “It is our hope to impact preventable diseases in our community by providing this service.”

For details, contact Nikki Brown at the Waynesboro Family YMCA at 540-943-9622 ext. 204.


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