HOLLYWOOD, CA -- Vista Healthplans will offer free gym memberships to its largest employer groups under a pilot program beginning Jan. 1, according to the managed-care company. Vista will become the first managed-care company in Florida to include such memberships as a covered benefit, spokeswoman Pam Gadinsky told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Employers participating are AutoNation; Broward County government; Broward Sheriff's Office; the federal government; General Dynamics; Miami-Dade government; Broward School Board; and Vista Healthplans employees. The gym memberships, available at any of 500 participating fitness clubs in Florida, are offered through Axia Health Management and are valued as high as $500 a year. Clubs participating in the Axia network are most Gold's Gyms, Curves, Club Fit, 24-Hour Fitness, Living Well Fitness Centers, Planet Fitness and others.