Changing the Way Members View Costs and Shop for Healthcare Services

Jose Santana by on Feb 28, 2018

Over the past several years, we have seen the healthcare industry move toward providing more transparency with costs of services and lower-cost alternatives. Recently, three coverage group firms, BCBS of Illinois and BCBS of Massachusetts, added member-site resources empower—and sometimes even reward—members for researching the costs of healthcare services.

BCBS of Illinois

The BCBS of Illinois member site locator and estimator tool offers a new cost alert feature that highlights less expensive procedure options. Appearing on individual provider pages only when there is a less expensive option, each alert includes the amount the member can save with a link to a cost comparison between the selected and the less expensive options.

BCBS of Illinois Member Site Locator and Estimator Tool Alert

BCBS of Illinois Member Site Locator and Estimator Tool Cost Comparison Screen

BCBS of Massachusetts

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts now rewards members who research options for care. In partnership with Vitals, the insurer’s new SmartShopper program provides members up to $250 in cash rewards per eligible procedure when they shop for and get care from lower-cost, reward-eligible providers. The program does not have a limit to the amount members can earn in a year is currently only running a pilot program in six cities in Massachusetts. To earn cash rewards, members access SmartShopper through the member site locator and estimator tool and search for an eligible procedure; they can also participate by calling a member services representative. According to a BSBC of Massachusetts spokesperson, SmartShopper is the first healthcare shopping program to be fully integrated with a health plan’s provider search tool.

BCBS of Massachusetts Member Site Locator and Estimator Result with SmartShopper

About The Author

Jose Santana

Jose is an Analyst for Healthcare Monitor at Corporate Insight. Read more