Are you a member of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia? Or of Anthem BlueCross BlueShield, Anthem BlueCross, or Empire BlueCross BlueShield? If so, are you familiar with all your health insurance benefits outside of finding a doctor and helping you with medical expenses?
You should be! I recently attended a briefing on “Supporting Your Family’s Health: The Evolving Role of Health Insurers,” with WellPoint, who is affiliated with the above mentioned health plans. I learned how WellPoint helps their customers stay healthy and wanted to share the information with you in case you’re one of their customers.
When faced with a family medical need, how do you determine if you need to take your child to the doctor, the ER or an urgent care clinic? Their 24/7 NurseLine provides accurate info and one-on-one counseling with experienced registered nurses 24/7 through a toll-free number. Their team of knowledgeable nurses is there to help you assess symptoms and help you determine what action you should take. They’re also prepared to answer questions about best practices when it comes to things like immunizations and various public-health issues.
One of the biggest differentiators of the NurseLine program is that members can be directly connected to a nurse. A lot of other programs have an added step in the process. Either they connect you first to a non-clinical person or even ask you to respond first to pre-taped recordings. But with WellPoint’s affiliated health plans, if you select the prompt to speak to a nurse, you speak with one immediately.
Just make sure to keep their phone number by your phone or on the kitchen refrigerator! My health plan (I’m not a BlueCross BlueShield member), has a similar hotline. Unfortunately when I recently burnt myself, I had no idea where the number was. Instead, I had to check Google and WebMD to find out if my burn was serious enough to go to urgent care. (It was as I had a large second degree burn on my arm.) It would have been nice to immediately talk with a trained nurse to determine what treatment I should have done at home as well as if I needed to see someone. (I learned later via WebMD that you don’t put ice on a burn anymore. Instead, you’re supposed to run cool water on the wound for 20 minutes. Ooops.)
This is something I wish I had access to when I was pregnant with my kids. WellPoint’s Future Moms maternity program gives very personalized support to expectant moms so they can have a healthier pregnancy and delivery – and a healthier newborn. The program includes risk screening and educational support as well as post-delivery follow-up. Even better, Future Moms also includes screening for post-partum depression. In addition, the program gives you information and tips you need as a new mom or dad to care for your child throughout the first year. (Even through it’s called, Future Moms, new dads can benefit from this program, too.)
Depending on whether you purchased your benefits yourself or receive them through your employer, you may need to enroll in this program. To check, call the number on your insurance card to check on eligibility and if you need to enroll.
Personalizing your health
WellPoint and its affiliated health plans have an online portal that lets you and other family members develop a personalized health plan. This includes email reminders and prompts for you to do the things you need to do such as scheduling check-ups or reminding you about working out.
A really cool benefit is that the portal also offers a live-chat feature. This way you have to a qualified health coach for support and questions. They can even provide you with quick and healthy recipes!
The plan also provides fitness devices to help measure your steps, activity and even your sleep. These options are available not just though the workplace, but also as a part of personal plans such as consumer directed plans as well as in several states, including Connecticut, Colorado, Nevada, New Hampshire, Maine and Virginia. The company is also working to introduce a similar portal for all of its members in the future.
Fitness to fit your lifestyle with FitOrbit
WellPoint and its affiliated health plans have partnered with FitOrbit to offer convenient and affordable ways for you to achieve your personal fitness goals. FitOrbit provides:
- Unlimited access to a real personal trainer who is available to you 24/7.
- Customized, family friendly meal plan including recipes and a grocery list.
- Detailed, personalized fitness plan that you can do anywhere, anytime even for us busy moms who have a tough time adding exercise into our daily lives.
WellPoint has provided me with a special discount for a FitOrbit membership to share with my readers. Just go to http://www.fitorbit.com/ib/MOMSAVES25 to save $25.
The bottom line
No matter what insurance provider you’re with, take time read your policy, talk with your HR person, and check out your plan’s website to take advantage of all the healthy lifestyle benefits it offers!
Disclosure: I was compensated for my time by WellPoint to attend the webinar and share this information with my readers. All experiences and opinions are my own.