CHICAGO, Dec. 12, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Prices for the same quality medical services can differ by thousands of dollars across health care providers within the same region and health plan network – sometimes as much as 300-500 percent. Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC), the nation's largest customer-owned health insurer, introduced Member Rewards, a new tool to help consumers better navigate their health care experience and provide them incentives for making smart decisions, which may also help reduce medical costs for themselves and their employers.
"Consumers may not be used to the idea of shopping for health care or be aware of the potential benefits of just a few minutes of research. But given the benefits and rewards consumers can achieve, we should move to a mentality where we shop for health care just like we do for other products," said Tom Meier, vice president, Market Solutions at HCSC. "By pairing the right transparency tools to compare costs with a meaningful financial incentive for our members, we can empower them to be smart consumers of care and potentially help lower costs for themselves and their employers."
Available to self-funded large employers across Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans in Illinois, Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Montana, this new program offers a cash reward when a quality, lower-cost provider is selected from several possibilities for the same medical service or procedure, such as MRI, mammogram or hip replacement. Member Rewards, powered and administered by Vitals, leverages Provider Finder®, HCSC's nationwide database of independently contracted health care providers, as well as Benefits Value Advisor, a live health care member advocate, to help consumers:
- compare costs and quality for numerous procedures
- estimate out-of-pocket costs
- earn cash while shopping for care
- save money and make the most efficient use of their health care benefits, and
- consider treatment decisions with their primary doctors.
Once members complete the procedure, they'll receive any financial reward they earn within weeks. The cash reward can vary from $75 - $3001 and depends on the care being performed and the difference in cost compared with other options. These benefits for the consumer are, in turn, passed on to employers, as lower-cost providers reduce their overall cost of care2.
About Health Care Service Corporation
Health Care Service Corporation is the country's largest customer-owned health insurer and fourth largest health insurer overall, with more than 15 million members in its Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans in Illinois, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. A Mutual Legal Reserve Company, HCSC is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. HCSC has a rating of A+ (Strong) from Standard and Poor's, A1 (Good) from Moody's and A (Excellent) from A.M. Best Company. For more information, please visit HCSC.com, visit our Facebook page or follow us at www.twitter.com/HCSC.
1 Ranges may change based on geography and account claims.
2 HCSC makes no endorsement, representation or warranty regarding Vitals' administration of the Member Rewards program. Information received through the Member Rewards program is not meant to replace advice of a health care professional, and decisions regarding course and place of treatment remain with the member and his or her health care provider. Eligibility for rewards is subject to terms and conditions of the Member Rewards program.
CONTACT: Kristen Cunningham, 312.653.1686, firstname.lastname@example.org
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SOURCE Health Care Service Corporation