As Biking Popularity Grows, so Must the Spotlight on Safety
Independence Blue Cross Offers Helmet Reimbursement for Safer Bicycling
PHILADELPHIA, June 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Biking has become a popular
means of transportation, exercise, recreation, and sport in
Philadelphia, where thousands of spectators are gearing up to watch the
2009 Philadelphia Cycling Championship, known to locals as the Manayunk
Bike Race, this weekend. No doubt partially spurred by higher gas
prices and an increasing focus on living "greener," biking's popularity
has exploded in the city by more than 100 percent over the last three
years, with Philadelphians making nearly 75,000 bicycle trips a day,
according to the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia's 2008
report. Yet the same report estimates that only 31 percent of riders in
Center City are wearing bike helmets.
Independence Blue Cross (IBC) encourages everyone in the community
to wear helmets while biking. To stress the importance of safety and
promote physical fitness, IBC offers each member of a family in its
Healthy Lifestyles(R) program up to $25 toward the purchase of a bike
About 540,000 bicyclists across the country go to emergency rooms
with injuries every year, according to the Bicycle Helmet Safety
Institute, and, of those, roughly 67,000 have head injuries.
"Our number one focus is wellness. We encourage our members to stay
fit by staying active and bike riding is excellent exercise," said Dr.
Es Nash, senior medical director at IBC. "We also promote safety and
advise members to wear helmets. A fall off a bike on a city street, a
trail path, or a suburban sidewalk can be dangerous, but a sturdy
helmet lessens the risk of injury."
Dr. Nash added, "Too often, when I see families bike riding
together, the kids are wearing helmets but the parents aren't! Parents,
please - use our Healthy Lifestyles reimbursement to get a helmet so
you're setting a good safety example for your children."
IBC encourages members purchasing bike helmets to be sure the
product meets the Consumer Product Safety Commission standard or that
it's certified by Snell Memorial Foundation, a nonprofit organization
that, for over fifty years has been dedicated to research, education,
testing and development of helmet safety standards. Eligible members
may receive one helmet reimbursement per family member per year. To
obtain reimbursement, an IBC member simply mails or faxes a copy of the
helmet receipt and a completed reimbursement form to IBC within 90 days
of purchase. Details are available on www.ibx.com and www.ibxpress.com.
In addition to bike helmet reimbursements, IBC offers cash back for
safety-related programs, including training in CPR, first-aid, and
automated external defibrillator essentials. As part of its Healthy
Lifestyles program, the company also offers reimbursements and
discounts to reward members for making healthy choices, including
joining a gym and going regularly and completing a smoking cessation or
About Independence Blue Cross
Independence Blue Cross is a leading health insurer in southeastern
Pennsylvania. Nationwide, Independence Blue Cross and its affiliates
provide coverage to nearly 3.4 million people. For more than 70 years,
Independence Blue Cross has offered high-quality health care coverage
tailored to meet the changing needs of members, employers, and health
care professionals. Independence Blue Cross's HMO and PPO health care
plans have consistently received the highest ratings from the National
Committee for Quality Assurance.
Independence Blue Cross is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross
Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and
Blue Shield plans. More information about Independence Blue Cross is
available at www.ibx.com.
Source: Independence Blue Cross
CONTACT: Mary Kate Ruffing of Independence Blue Cross, +1-215-241-9417,
Web Site: http://www.ibx.com/