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updated: 9/8/2012 10:16 AM

Chicago employee wellness program gets good start

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Associated Press

CHICAGO -- Nearly 80 percent of Chicago city workers and their spouses have signed up for a new wellness program.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office announced Friday that more than 38,000 employees and spouses have signed up for Chicago Lives Healthy, a program managed by Tennessee-based Healthways Inc.

Participants get health screenings and phone calls with health counselors. They can take classes to help them meet their health goals.

It's free, but those who are eligible and don't participate will pay an additional $50 a month for their health insurance.

Representatives from the city and many of its labor unions collaborated on the development of the wellness plan. The mayor says the participation of labor unions has been crucial.

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