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BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York is teaming up with health fitness company Healthways to offer its SilverSneakers fitness program for senior citizens through 2015.

Under the three-year partnership between the health insurer and Franklin, Tenn.-based Healthways, a publicly traded company, SilverSneakers will be offered to eligible individuals and group Medicare Advantage members in Western New York.

Specifically, the service became available to Senior Blue HMO and Forever Blue Medicare PPO members in Erie, Niagara, Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties as of Jan. 1.

“This will allow Western New York seniors to take advantage of a nationally recognized program that encourages physical health and an enhanced social life,” said Catherine M. Campbell, senior vice president of government programs for the health insurer. “Our region’s seniors will now have access to tools that engage them in fitness, and we know physical activity enhances mind, body and spirit.”

Founded in 1993, SilverSneakers is now available to more than 9 million members nationwide, offering access to more than 15,000 fitness and wellness facilities nationwide through Healthways’ fitness center network. Similar programs are already offered by Independent Health Association and Univera Healthcare.

email: jepstein@buffnews.com