Blue Shield of California adds Headspace to Wellvolution platform

Blue Shield of California will now offer Headspace's services through its Wellvolution program, the insurer announced this week.

Through Headspace, Wellvolution members can access hundreds of tools and more than 1,000 exercises that aim to improve stress and mental well-being, Blue Shield said. The platform is the latest addition to Wellvolution, which was launched in partnership with Solera Health and aims to provide a personalized, digital lifestyle and health experience.

With Headspace, Wellvolution will now extend to behavioral health, the insurer said. The platform includes other apps and tools that are designed to prevent, treat and even reverse diseases like diabetes.

“There’s no question that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has elevated stress levels for everyone,” said Bryce Williams, vice president of Mind Body Medicine at Blue Shield of California, in a statement. “With Headspace, our members receive a scientifically validated, clinically effective solution to improve their mental health and wellbeing.”  

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Wellvolution largely focused on cardiometabolic diseases to start, but executives previously told Fierce Healthcare that the impact of COVID-19 on mental health spotlighted that as a key area that the program could focus on next.

Headspace research has found that the tool's guided meditations can reduce stress and anxiety, increase focus, boost self-esteem, improve resilience and lead to better sleep. It found that 10 days of use can lead to a 14% reduction in stress.

In addition, eight weeks of using Headspace led anxiety symptoms to decrease by 31% and depression symptoms by 46%, according to the announcement.

“There has been a huge spike in the need for mental health support in the past few years and Headspace has been successful in helping people stress less, be more resilient, and get a better night's sleep,” said Sarah Romotsky, director of Healthcare Partnerships Solutions at Headspace, in a statement. "Through this valuable collaboration with Blue Shield, we hope to make mindfulness easy and accessible for all."

Wellvolution is available to most Blue Shield members at no additional cost.