When I meet with my clients to review health insurance options each year, the focus of the conversation tends to be on the premiums, and out of pocket costs for their employees. These are very important points of discussion, as we always do our best to keep each as low as possible. However, the reality is that we are asking our employees to take on more out of pocket costs in the form of higher copays, deductibles and coinsurance. Therefore, there is no better time to ensure that they are also aware of all of the savings programs the different carriers offer.
If you carry a AAA card, you are probably aware that it offers programs and discounts above and beyond the roadside assistance program, but did you know that the same applies to your health insurance card? Most people are aware that their insurance carrier offers some type of fitness benefit, and many of you are probably very careful to be sure that you send in all of the necessary paperwork to snag that benefit each year. However, did you know that there are more value added benefits of which you may not be aware? Below are some highlights of the savings and wellness benefit of each the five main carriers in Massachusetts. I encourage you to click on the links below each carrier to view all of the benefits, and take advantage of the ones that are useful to your family.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of MA:
Beyond the $150/year fitness benefit that BCBS offers all of its members, BCBSMA also offers a program called Blue365. Much like Groupon or LivingSocial, Blue 365is an online destination that offers members exclusive health and wellness deals to keep them healthy and happy, every day of the year. Program includes weekly deals via email, local and national savings on premium brands, great discounts from top national and local retailers on fitness gear, gym memberships, family activities, healthy eating options and much more. Learn more now about Blue365 Savings & Discounts.
Also make sure to check out BCBSMA Member Central – Using My Plan for more information about discounts and savings offered to members of BCBSMA.
Fallon Community Health Plan:
If you are a FCHP member, you must take advantage of their It Fits! Program, which is a fitness reimbursement program which gives you up to $400* per family ($200 for an individual plan) to use toward gym memberships, Pilates and yoga classes, Weight Watchers, school and town sports programs, ski passes, road race fees and a variety of other healthy activities. It is truly an all encompassing program.
In addition to this program, there are a number of other discounts that you can take advantage of as a FCHP member. As an FCHP member, Naturally Well gives you discounts on acupuncture, chiropractic care (in addition to any chiropractic benefit your plan may have—see your FCHP Member Handbook/Evidence of Coverage for more information) and massage therapy from the American Specialty Health Networks, Inc. (ASHN) credentialed network of qualified providers*. Health and wellness products also are available at a reduced rate through ChooseHealthyTM, an affiliate of ASHN. The services and products are not covered benefits under your health plan coverage, but are instead offered as an extra value if you wish to use them.
Be sure to check out all of the member benefits within Fallon Community Health Plan in their Healthy Extras webpage.
Harvard Pilgrim Health Plan:
In addition to their $150 fitness benefit for all members, Harvard Pilgrim Health Plan also offers a way to save money on health care expenses that may be applied to your deductible. SaveOn is a program for Harvard Pilgrim members to determine if they are using the most cost effective providers for their care. Choose lower-cost, Harvard Pilgrim-participating plan providers for select outpatient tests and procedures and save. With one simple call and three easy steps, you can earn cash rewards and lower your out-of-pocket costs.
1. Call the SaveOn nurse at (855) 7SaveOn (855-772-8366) when your doctor orders an outpatient test or procedure like Bone density study, Colonoscopy, Radiology (e.g., MRI and CT scan), Lab work, Mammogram, Ultrasound, and ther outpatient tests and procedures.
2. The SaveOn nurse will determine if you’re already going to a lower-cost provider. If you are, you’ll earn $10 just for calling! If not, the nurse will identify any lower-cost provider options near you.
3. If you choose to get care from an identified lower-cost provider, you’ll receive a reward once Harvard Pilgrim processes the claim, typically within 45 days. Your reward will be between $25 and $75, depending on the type of service and the associated cost savings.
This program is completely voluntary. You do not need to call the SaveOn phone line or use an identified lower-cost plan provider unless you choose to.
If you are a Harvard Pilgrim Member, be sure to access the Your Member Savings page to view all the member savings programs available to you.
Neighborhood Health Plan:
In addition to their $150 per subscriber (up to $300 per family) fitness benefit, Neighborhood Health Plan also offers a dental benefit to many of their members. The dental benefit is offered through Delta Dental of MA, and is available to all members of a participating NHP Care Select or NHP Choice HMO commercial plan. The plan covers Oral Exams, Cleanings, X-Rays and Fluoride treatments when provided by a Delta Dental PPO Network participating dentist.
Be sure to check out Savings and Discounts for NHP Members for more member savings programs.
Tufts Health Plan:
In addition to their $150 fitness club rebate offered to most members, Tufts Health Plan also has a variety of other member savings benefits. For example, Tufts Health Plan members are eligible for a CVS Caremark ExtraCare Health Card. With the CVS Caremark ExtraCare Health Card, you, your spouse, and your dependents receive 20% off regular-priced CVS/pharmacy Brand, health-related items valued at $1 or more. This includes items you may buy frequently, such as ibuprofen, allergy relief, nasal decongestants, and more. To get your discount, just show your ExtraCare Health Card at the time of purchase. If you are a new subscriber, you can expect to receive cards within 6 to 8 weeks of the date your Tufts Health Plan coverage begins.
Be sure to check out Tufts Health Plan’s Member Discounts page for more information about the member discounts offered.
At a time when our employees are all expected to carry a little more of the health care financial burden, it’s good to know that there are some discount programs available to lighten the load. Be sure to review the options and take advantage of these programs.