CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - Over one million BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee commercial members can now take advantage of a new alternative medicine discount program for services ranging from acupuncture to nutrition counseling.

As an added value to their current BlueCross health plan, group members, individual policyholders, and those with Medicare supplemental coverage can receive up to 30 percent savings on complementary alternative medicine (CAM) therapies as well as other health and wellness services offered through BluePerks.

Alternative medicine includes a variety of therapies that seek to increase wellness, prevent illness and address existing symptoms and conditions. Discounted services available through the BluePerks program include spa services, personalized fitness training, vitamins, magazine subscriptions, Tai Chi instruction and more.

“BlueCross recognizes that more people are turning to alternative medicine to complement traditional medical treatments,” said Linda Andreae, vice president of product development and underwriting for BlueCross. “We created BluePerks to expand our members’ health care options while continuing to make their choices more affordable.”

According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, 40 percent of American adults tried at least one form of complementary alternative medicine last year.

The BluePerks discount program is separate from a traditional health plan. There are no referrals or claims involved. Members simply show their BlueCross membership ID card to any participating practitioner and pay the discounted price.

“Our members can think of BluePerks as one more advantage to carrying a BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee membership card,” Andreae said. Both individual and group members with commercial coverage can take advantage of BlueCross’ discount program. As with any treatment, members are encouraged to consult with their physician prior to using new services, especially if they are currently receiving care.

BluePerks CAM discounts are administered by American WholeHealth Networks, Inc., a select nationwide group of alternative medicine practitioners with more than 28,000 affiliated practitioners in 36 complementary alternative medicine disciplines.

For a current list of participating practitioners and discounted services, members can visit www.bcbst.com and choose the BluePerks link, or call 1-800-227-5911 for more information.

About American WholeHealth, Inc.

American WholeHealth is the nation’s largest complementary health and wellness network company, dedicated to serving more than 35 million lives through relationships with health plans and associations, and to strengthening partnerships with more than 25,000 practitioners across the county. In addition to a nationwide practitioner network of Chiropractors, Acupuncturists, Massage Therapists, Registered Dieticians and Nutritionists, American WholeHealth’s network options include alternative body work, mind-body therapies including Guided Imagery, Relaxation Training, Yoga, personal trainers, Tai Chi and Chi Gong, as well as Fitness Centers and Spa Services.

American WholeHealth supports the education of health care consumers via its award-winning site, WholeHealthMD.com. American WholeHealth also supports its network participants through WholeHealthPro.com, a professional web site that helps practitioners better serve their patients and improve their professional practice.

About BlueCross

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee's mission is to provide its customers and communities with peace of mind through affordable solutions for health and healing, life and living. Founded in 1945, the Chattanooga-based company is focused on reinventing the health plan for its 3 million members in Tennessee and across the country. Through its integrated health management approach, BlueCross provides patient-centric products and services that drive health improvement and positively impact health care quality and value. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Inc. is an independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association. For more information, visit the company's website at www.bcbst.com.