RICHARDSON, Texas, July 29, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) today announced several enhancements to its Blue Directions private exchange solution for large employers, available now for the upcoming 2016 benefit plan year. The online platform's enhanced features include a new 'Pick-a-Plan' option that lets employers build a plan package from a comprehensive portfolio of designs, and transparency tools help consumers better understand their health care options and compare costs.
BCBSTX's Blue Directions solution brings many of the same features of online shopping to the selection of employer-sponsored benefits. This convenient, user-friendly platform helps employers easily select benefit plans, manage enrollment, anticipate expenditures and customize contribution strategies. Based on a defined contribution strategy, Blue Directions allows employers to commit a flat-dollar amount of money to each employee for coverage. Employees can then use this amount toward the purchase of benefits unique to their needs.
"The Blue Directions private exchange platform offers start-to-finish enrollment support that helps employees understand their health care options – minimizing an HR administrator's workload and helping members become more engaged in their health care choices," said Bert Marshall, president of BCBSTX. "Our goal is to take the complexity out of designing and administrating employee benefits program, making it a seamless process for both HR administrators and employees."
In addition to start-to-finish enrollment support, the new Blue Directions enhancements include:
- Pick-a-Plan. For 2016, employers can build their own plan package from a comprehensive portfolio of PPOs, High Deductible Health Plans as well as HMOs and EPOs where they are available. Employees can compare these plans side-by-side and filter them by network, deductible and premium to find a plan that fits their unique needs. Employees will see exactly how much their employer will contribute and what their out-of-pocket maximums will be;
- Benefits Value Advisor (BVA). Concierge type, specially trained customer service advocates who use proprietary tools to provide members assistance in understanding benefits, scheduling doctor visits, and finding in-network doctors. In a study by BCBSTX, members who acted on a BVA recommendation saw an average savings of approximately $2,000 per claim;
- Primary Nurse. The Primary Nurse model helps members with complex medical conditions better understand and manage their unique health care needs;
- Decision Support. Members can create a custom profile through the online employee decision tool during enrollment to help them determine the plan that best suits their needs. Members can also call the Blue Directions help center for 24/7 support during the enrollment process to address their questions.
Furthermore, employers can provide members with specialty lines of coverage for dental, vision, life, short and long-term disability, critical illness, accident and hospital indemnity. Blue Directions is available to large employers headquartered in Texas. For more information on Blue Directions, please visit www.bcbstx.com/bluedirections/.
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) – the only statewide, customer-owned health insurer in Texas – is the largest provider of health benefits in the state, working with nearly 80,000 physicians and healthcare practitioners, and 500 hospitals to serve more than 5 million members in all 254 counties. BCBSTX is a Division of Health Care Service Corporation (which operates Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans in Texas, Illinois, Montana, Oklahoma and New Mexico), the country's largest customer-owned health insurer and fourth largest health insurer overall. Health Care Service Corporation is a Mutual Legal Reserve Company and an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.
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Savings are aggregate employer/member cost savings
SOURCE Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas