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Schaumburg, IL (April 27, 2012) - With American employers losing an estimated $225.8 billion a year due to health care expenses and health-related losses in productivity, the American Heart Association (AHA) is working to change corporate cultures by honoring businesses that promote and support physical activity and healthy long-term habits. Assurance – a Top 50 U.S. Broker” – has been chosen as one these forward-moving companies with its recent Start! Fit-Friendly Platinum level recognition, as well as Community Innovation Award from the AHA for 2012. Assurance was one of 54 companies to receive Platinum status and one of four recognized with the Community Innovation Award in the Midwest.

To be considered Platinum level, companies had to fulfill the following requirements within the workplace: offer employees a variety of physical activities; increase healthy eating options; promote a wellness culture; implement at least nine criteria outlined by the AHA in the areas of physical activity, nutrition and culture; demonstrate measurable outcomes. In order to achieve the Community Innovation Award, wellness-centric businesses – like Assurance – have to provide identical support for physical activity and nutrition within the community. If all criteria are met, then an American Heart Association volunteer panel will review the application for recognition status.

"We're excited to receive this honor from the American Heart Association and attribute it to the success of our Eye of the Tiger Wellness program and our employees who continually provide support and participation in sponsored physical activities,” noted Lisa Pinion, Senior Vice President of Human Resources. She continued, "We've seen and calculated first-hand the value a wellness program offers in areas such as increased productivity and happiness, lower absenteeism and reduced health care costs, from not only ourselves, but also our clients.”

A representative from the AHA presented Assurance with both a Start! Fit-Friendly Platinum-level recognition plate and Community Innovation Award plaque on Thursday, April 19 at the company's Chicago office.