YMCA Medical Membership Year 2 Milestones

medical membership Sarah

Despite COVID-19 challenges, the YMCA of the Triangle served 525 medical members during year 2 of the three-year Medical Membership pilot. “Closed branches and mask mandates definitely impacted participation this year, but I’m so proud that we were able to serve the community in a virtual format to support their wellness goals and see strong health outcomes,” said Susan Pettengill, Vice President of Health Living for the Triangle. 

A YMCA Medical Membership is a bundle of three services: 

  • Healthy coaching
  • Participation in an evidence-based program
  • A YMCA membership

This year the Y offered programs in-person and virtually; more than 75% of the programs were facilitated virtually so that participants could continue –or begin—their health journey. This infographic and Year 2 Report detail the strong results. To date, the Y has served 1,255 medical members.

YMCA of the Triangle launched the YMCA Medical Membership pilot in February 2019 in collaboration with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC), the NC Medical Society Foundation and the NC Alliance of YMCAs. The pilot includes a Community Health Model for BCBSNC beneficiaries, with their members paying just $25 for the membership while BCBSNC subsidizes a portion of the cost. Participants that do not have BCBSNC are eligible to participate at a monthly rate of $60. Pettengill said the Y also provides encrypted data to BCBSNC with their beneficiaries’ health outcomes so they can run analytics to see the projected health care savings. 

The long-term goal is to scale this to a statewide model after completion of the pilot, creating direct reimbursement with Ys to create sustainability.  This will allow North Carolina to move toward paying for health, not just healthcare, Pettengill said. 

Making an Impact
 “When I started this program, I could barely walk with all sorts of aches and pains. Today I run, bike, swim, lift weights and enjoy all sorts of outdoor activities with my daughter, husband and new friends. Through this class, I have also learned how to eat better, sleep better and exercise more. Most importantly I have made new friends that support me, and I support them. The YMCA has created a community of support with other classmates, YMCA instructors and coaches.” 

--Stacy, Weight Loss Program Participant and BCBSNC Beneficiary (pictured above)