updated 11/9/2010 6:15:58 AM ET 2010-11-09T11:15:58

SAN DIEGO, Nov. 9, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Health and wellness company American Specialty Health Incorporated (ASH) announced that it had received a Silver California Fit Business Award for the fourth time from the California Task Force on Youth and Workplace Wellness.

The California Fit Business Awards, created in 2003, were designed to encourage employers throughout the state to find new and innovative ways to promote physical activity and healthy nutrition habits among employees. Each application is reviewed by two expert reviewers in a process that takes at least two months. The awards were handed out at a ceremony in Anaheim, Calif., on November 4.

The CA Task Force on Youth and Workplace Wellness recognized ASH for "walking the talk" of a modern, progressive health care and wellness company. In addition to traditional medical, dental, and vision benefits, ASH employees receive access to a variety of wellness and complementary health care benefit programs that the company makes available to more than 17.9 million health plan and employer group members nationwide. These include unique benefits such as chiropractic, massage therapy, and acupuncture, as well as a Healthyroads® Coaching Program for weight management, tobacco cessation, stress management, and healthy living.

ASH's culture of wellness begins in its San Diego headquarters. Here the company implements both traditional and unique health care initiatives for its employees. For instance, ASH offers:

  • Value-based benefit designs, with which employees can earn extra health care premium coverage by taking a Personal Health Assessment (PHA) and participating and meeting certain criteria in annual biometric screenings.
  • Fun company-wide health challenges and online competitions that employees can create and join to compete against themselves or each other. The company's holiday challenge, for example, encourages employees to maintain their weight during the holiday season from November through January.
  • Quarterly exercise incentives of $100 for meeting physical activity goals using a heart rate monitor or wireless accelerometer. Employees upload their activity data wirelessly to Healthyroads.com through special antennas placed throughout the ASH office.
  • Healthy vending machines—all items are reviewed by staff registered dietitians, and no junk food is sold in the building.
  • An onsite fitness facility, as well as a separate exercise room where employees can work out to a selection of fitness DVDs and participate in spinning sessions.
  • An annual Get Healthy! Award presented to the employee who made the biggest healthy living improvements. The winner is recognized at ASH's annual corporate awards ceremony.

Earlier this year, ASH was named among San Diego's healthiest employers and one of the city's 100 fastest growing private companies by the San Diego Business Journal, one of America's 5000 fastest-growing private companies by Inc. magazine, and a best place to work in San Diego according to the San Diego Business Journal. ASH has also been listed as one of the top 100 "Best Places to Work in Healthcare" according to Modern Healthcare and was listed as one of America's 15 fittest companies by Men's Fitness magazine.

About American Specialty Health

American Specialty Health Incorporated (ASH) is a national health and wellness company that provides prevention and wellness services, specialty network management programs, and fitness and exercise services to health plans, insurance carriers, employer groups, and trust funds. Based in San Diego, ASH has more than 700 employees and covers over 17.9 million members.

For more information about the products and services offered by ASH and its subsidiaries, visit www.ASHCompanies.com or call (800) 848-3555. Follow us at Twitter.com/ASHCompanies and Twitter.com/Healthyroads.

© Copyright 2012, GlobeNewswire, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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