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Strengthening New Jersey: YMCAs, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey Offer Savings on Y Membership to Improve Health & Well-Being

By: PRLog

MONTCLAIR, N.J. - Feb. 29, 2024 - PRLog -- Diane Davis was struggling to walk when she joined the Montclair YMCA in 2019 with a diagnosis of prediabetes. She began swimming to improve her mobility, eventually shedding 100 pounds and developing the strength to bicycle up to 50 miles a day.

"The Y has been great for me," the Montclair resident said at an event Thursday, Feb. 22 to kick off a new venture between the New Jersey YMCA State Alliance (the Alliance) and Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey (Horizon) aimed at improving health and well-being for Horizon members living in the Garden State.

Davis is among 1,000 New Jersey residents now benefiting from the latest joint effort of the Alliance and Horizon to increase access to healthy living by offering membership savings at nearly 50 participating YMCAs.

Under the new program, Horizon members, like Davis, are eligible for a 15 percent discount on the cost of their monthly Y memberships and those who join the YMCA will not be charged an initiation fee. Even more savings are available to Horizon members who are eligible for HorizonbFitSM rewards.

"We are deeply appreciative of the partnership and the opportunity to improve physical and mental health in all the communities that we serve," said the Alliance CEO Julie Gallanty. "It supports social determinants of health, it's equitable and it allows people from all economic positions to participate."

Horizon's Executive Director of The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey and Corporate Social Responsibility Jonathan Pearson said that by making Y membership more affordable, Horizon and participating Ys are "reaffirming our shared commitment to empower individuals and families to achieve their best health."

According to a recent study by the Chronic Care Policy Alliance, 14.9 percent of New Jersey adults rate their health as fair or poor, underlining a high prevalence of chronic diseases including heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer, Gallanty said. "We know that regular exercise is one of the best ways to fight chronic disease," she noted.

Mental health issues are also on the rise, particularly among youth, at a time when there aren't enough mental health professionals to meet the growing demand for care, said Robert Davidson, CEO of the Mental Health Association of Morris and Essex and a member of the YMCA of Montclair Board of Directors.

"Physical activity is absolutely essential to mental health," said Davidson. "We know that as a result it improves mental health state, improves depression, relieves anxiety disorder and improves cognitive disorders."

State Senator John McKeon, D-Morris, said he considers the program a "win-win" for the Y and Horizon, but most importantly for families in New Jersey. "Knowing all the challenges of the families here that we serve and that we serve throughout the state, you know 15 percent is a big discount."

YMCAs offer programs and activities for people of all ages, interests and abilities to achieve greater health and overall well-being. In addition to wellness centers with pools and gyms, the Y provides sports and recreation for youth, child care programs and summer camps. Chronic disease prevention programs and social services are also available at many YMCAs.

For more information about the discount program and a listing of the participating YMCAs, go to

About the New Jersey YMCA State Alliance
The Alliance is a statewide nonprofit organization leading a coalition of 30 independent YMCA associations. Through public policy, statewide initiatives, strategic partnerships, and service delivery, the Alliance fosters a greater ability for YMCAs, community partners and leaders across the state to impact families, improve community health and advance equity. Our collective voice strengthens local communities while promoting youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. For more information, visit

About Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey
Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, the state's leading health solutions company, and its affiliates provide a wide array of medical, dental, vision and prescription insurance products and services. Horizon BCBSNJ is leading the transformation of health care in New Jersey by working with doctors and hospitals to deliver innovative, patient-centered programs that are improving healthcare quality, cost, and convenience. Horizon BCBSNJ is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association serving approximately 3.8 million members. HorizonbFitSM is a service mark of Horizon. Learn more at

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Photos: (Click photo to enlarge)

New Jersey YMCA CEOs & Horizon announce venture. Mental Health Association CEO Robert Davidson State Senator John McKeon, D-Morris

Source: New Jersey YMCA State Alliance

Read Full Story - Strengthening New Jersey: YMCAs, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey Offer Savings on Y Membership to Improve Health & Well-Being | More news from this source

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