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Photo: AlphaLab Fall 2017

New Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Rewards Program Encourages Employer Group Members to ‘Shop’ for Affordable Care

DETROIT, Sept. 18, 2018 – To increase member engagement in making informed decisions on where to go for care, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is giving more than 520,000 of its commercial PPO group members the ability to earn e-gift cards by choosing providers who deliver services at affordable prices for select, non-emergency procedures. Starting January 1, 2019, Blue Cross RewardsSM will reward members who shop around for care, compare costs and choose affordable services to meet their needs.

“Many people aren’t aware they have options when it comes to the provider locations they use for their different health care needs,” said Janet Fava, vice president of Product Development at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. “Often, consumers will research pricing when making significant purchases, but don’t realize they can also consider value when it comes to receiving health services at a reasonable price. The Blue Cross RewardsSM program is our way of highlighting provider location options for group members while helping them save, earn monetary incentives and maintain their health.”

Though studies have shown no correlation between the cost and quality of care, pricing for the same procedure can vary greatly by provider. For example, an abdominal ultrasound ranges from approximately $200 to more than $550, depending on the facility. Blue Cross RewardsSM provides members with the information and tools they need to stay informed about their care options and make the most cost-effective choice to reduce out-of-pocket expenses.

To participate, PPO group members simply login to their bcbsm.com account online or on the BCBSM mobile app, search for a reward-eligible procedure, sign-up for the reward offered for each service, and look for the green trophy symbol next to provider results. The green trophy signifies a reward-eligible provider location. Once the service is completed with an eligible provider and a claim has been processed, the member will receive an e-gift card ranging from $25 to $75 in value up to a total of $550 per member, per calendar year. E-gift card amounts are contingent on the provider and procedure. More than 140 non-emergency imaging and outpatient services are available for price comparison and incentives including, but not limited to: mammograms, ultrasounds, colonoscopies and sinus surgeries.

“We’ve made the functionality easy for members to navigate, so they feel comfortable exploring their options and making the best provider location choice for themselves and their families,” said Fava. “The rewards program is embedded right into the member’s online account, which makes it extremely user-friendly and within a capability many of our members may already be familiar with using.”

In addition to the Blue Cross RewardsSM program, members can use their online account to manage plan details, learn about benefits, coverage and more. To check eligibility for the program and find more information, groups are encouraged to call their Blue Cross sales representative or agent.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit mutual insurance company, is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. BCBSM provides and administers health benefits to more than 4.6 million members residing in Michigan in addition to employees of Michigan-headquartered companies who reside outside the state. In 2018, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan received the J.D. Power Award for “Highest Member Satisfaction Among Commercial Health Plans in Michigan.”  For more company information, visit bcbsm.com and MiBluesPerspectives.com.