Ways Blue Cross Helps Members Access Women’s Preventive Care

Amy Barczy

| 5 min read

Amy Barczy is a brand journalist at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and writes for AHealthierMichigan.org and MIBluesPerspectives.com. Prior to joining Blue Cross, she was a statewide news reporter for MLive.com. She has a decade of storytelling experience in local news media markets including Lansing, Grand Rapids, Holland, Ann Arbor and Port Huron.

Preventive care for women includes some of the most important health care visits: screening for deadly cancers and life-threatening diseases, tests for conditions that most commonly affect women and support during and after pregnancy.
These preventive services have significant health benefits – and when they are delivered by an in-network provider, they are fully covered by health insurance without a copayment, coinsurance or deductible.
Ensuring women have access to preventive services for their overall health and well-being is a priority to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. Here are some of the ways Blue Cross helps members access women’s preventive care services.

Fully covered preventive screenings

Preventive screenings for women’s health, including screening for cervical cancer, breast cancer, bone density, diabetes, domestic and interpersonal violence and sexually transmitted infections, as well as yearly well-woman visits are all covered for members with Blue Cross and Blue Care Network plans when the services are delivered by an in-network provider.
Additionally, birth control services including U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved contraceptive methods, sterilization procedures and patient education and counseling as prescribed by a health care provider are covered services when delivered by an in-network provider.

Increased access to mental health help

Mental health and physical health are closely linked. Blue Cross is helping lead the adoption of integrating behavioral health providers into primary care practices and OB/GYN practices. This model is called Collaborative Care, and it increases access for patients to mental health care.
Patients have faster, more direct access to behavioral health specialists through the same office where they receive their regular services, whether they are visiting their OB/GYN or their primary care provider. That’s because offices in the Collaborative Care program have mental health care workers on staff, including a consulting psychiatrist, to help providers develop a mental health plan that fits each patient’s needs.

24-7 support

For urgent health questions that can’t wait, Blue Cross and Blue Care Network offer members access to medical professionals 24/7. There are two virtual options that can help answer questions after hours, or when a member’s regular primary care provider isn’t immediately available:
Members can see a board-certified doctor or mental health expert online from anywhere in the U.S. using Virtual Care by Teladoc Health®, formerly Blue Cross Online Visits℠. For medical care, no appointment is needed. The average wait time for an appointment is 10 minutes or less. And the cost is the same or less than an in-person appointment. For mental health care, appointments are required – but are available during flexible hours with evening and weekend options.
Additionally, members can get free help with medical questions by calling the 24-Hour Nurse Line. Nurses can assist with questions about upcoming medical procedures and advise whether symptoms for you or a loved one can be treated at home or whether emergency care is needed right away.
  • BCBSM PPO members: 1-844-811-8460
  • BCN HMO members: 1-855-624-5214
  • TTY users: call 711

Support during family building 

For women that are attempting pregnancy, managing a pregnancy, or are postpartum, Blue Cross is ready to help. 
Health plans cover folic acid supplements to help boost nutrition and lower the incidence of birth defects for women that are trying to get pregnant or who are pregnant. Individuals should check with their provider and health plan to know what additional family building assistance options are covered.
For individuals who are pregnant, prenatal checkups should start as soon as you think you are pregnant. Regular prenatal checkups can help ensure a healthy pregnancy and delivery – and are covered by health plans. They can also screen for prenatal birth defects and disorders.
In the postpartum period, health plans cover follow-up visits to ensure your physical and emotional health is taken care of – in addition to well visits for your new baby with a pediatrician. Many health plans offer coverage for breast pumps, as well as lactation counseling. Members can check their coverage to see what services are included in their health plan by logging in to their account at bcbsm.com.
One resource available to Blue Cross and BCN members is a digital tool that can supplement the in-person care they receive with their providers before, during and after pregnancy. The personalized digital care app available through Maven Clinic offers members support through the entire family planning journey, with one-on-one support from a Care Advocate that can address concerns, as well as virtual clinical support from other specialty providers including obstetricians, pediatricians, lactation consultants, pediatric sleep coaches and psychologists available within 30 minutes. Check to see if Maven is available to you by logging in to your online member account at bcbsm.com. 
Blue Cross also supports new care models to help pregnant women improve outcomes for themselves and their babies. The Centering Pregnancy initiative through the Blue Cross Physician Group Incentive Program encourages women to receive prenatal care in a group setting. During prenatal checkups, women complete their health assessments and then gather with a group of other pregnant women, providers and support staff to talk about healthy pregnancy nutrition, stress management, breastfeeding, questions over labor and delivery, and infant care. The collaborative environment has proven to help pregnant moms by improving health outcomes, boosting confidence, securing more time with providers and connecting them to peers for support and friendship in a more fun environment.

Support during menopause

Women undergoing the transition to menopause can find support through a new personalized digital care app Blue Cross is offering to all fully insured group and individual PPO and HMO members at no additional charge.
The Family Building and Women’s Health Support Solution through Maven Clinic is a digital app that members can use to identify menopausal symptoms and explore treatment options, consult with experts and connect to peers for community support. Members can connect with a care advocate who can provide personalized support, as well as licensed providers who can offer virtual clinical guidance.
Learn more about Maven Clinic here.
 

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