A new partnership between Valley of the Sun YMCA and Maricopa County will lead to lower health care costs for one of the largest employers in Arizona.

Nearly 12,000 Maricopa County employees plus their families will have “access to substantial discounts to membership (fees)” according to Kerri O’Brien, Senior Vice President of Healthy Living for the YMCA.

One of the major components of the program, which kicks off on July 1, is to monitor and track employee health through a variety of measures.

“What is special to me about the YMCA is it is not just a fitness center but a place for families to come together,” Maricopa County manager Tom Manos said. The goal being to “slow the growth of what we pay and what employees pay in health care benefits.”

The partnership came after Maricopa County sent out a request for proposal (RFP) for a new health and wellness provider. Including family members, nearly 26,000 people will be eligible for the reduction in membership fees.

Employees who opt-in will have a copay from $24 each month for singles, or up to $51 for families.

In addition, they will have free events, such as lectures at Maricopa County buildings now that deal with living a healthier lifestyle.

Maricopa County officials will report regularly on changes in employee health after the program begins.

“It is important that we are tracking employee health,” O’Brien said.

The Valley of the Sun YMCA is a nonprofit organization that has operated in Arizona for 120 years. There are 17 branch locations spread out across Arizona, including the Ahwatukee Foothills Family YMCA, 1030 E. Liberty Lane.

“Maricopa County was very impressed with the services the YMCA offers,” Manos said in a statement. “The YMCA is well known throughout the community as a leader in wellness, and I am delighted that together we can offer their programs and services to the Maricopa County family of employees.”

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or troemhild@ahwatukee.com

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