Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota, Eagan, unveiled plans to spend $30 million in 2006 to promote physical activity and smoking cessation. The long-awaited initiative will be funded by $241 million earmarked for disease management from the insurer's 1998 settlement with tobacco companies. Legal challenges tied up the insurer's settlement -- which totaled $412 million -- for more than seven years. This year's spending will include $5.8 million for community grants, said Marc Manley, the Minnesota Blues' vice president and medical director for population health. "We've had plenty of time to get ready," Manley said. Among the campaign's goals: Cut smoking among Minnesota adults to less than 10% in the next 10 years from 18% and during the same period increase by 50% the percentage of Minnesotans who get at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise five days a week. -- by Melanie Evans
Minn. Blues budgets $30 million to push exercise, smoking cessation
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