Empire BlueCross BlueShield
April 19, 2011 – New York – What is the difference between a co-pay and co-insurance? What does it mean if a doctor is out-of-network? How does a Health Savings Account work? For consumers, understanding their coverage and benefits is a top priority. This is why Empire BlueCross BlueShield has developed interactive eTutorials to help its members get the most out of their health plans.
Two new eTutorials are available to teach members the basics of their health plans and how to use the updated Empireblue.com website. When members launch these eTutorials, they can learn how to get the most out of their benefits, save money and make the most informed decisions about their health.
"Making it easier for members to navigate the health care system is a top priority for Empire," said Mark Wagar, President and CEO, Empire BlueCross BlueShield, "The first step is providing members with simplified tools to better explain how their benefits work. eTutorials are vital tools in empowering health care consumers."
The Basics of Health Insurance eTutorial helps members understand their health care coverage and feel confident when they need to use their benefits. It explains their health care plan in a humorous and interactive way utilizing plain language.
Members will learn:
- Why regular checkups and tests are important and how they're covered.
- What deductible, coinsurance, copays and other common insurance terms mean.
- How to save money by using in-network doctors.
- How claims are approved and paid.
- What the "Explanation of Benefits" is and how to understand it.
The Web Overview eTutorial walks members through tools available on empireblue.com and shows the advantages of using them.
Members will learn how to:
- Register on empireblue.com.
- Use our cost and quality tools to check what different doctors and hospitals in their area charge for common surgeries and how often they perform them.
- Find a doctor.
- Take a health assessment to see how healthy they are and print a report that they can share with their doctors.
- Personalize their own health record where they can keep all of their health information in one place.
- Work with a personal health coach who can help them manage an illness or condition.
- View videos of common surgeries being performed.
- Find discounts for local gym memberships, eyeglasses, weight loss programs and more.
The Web Overview eTutorial is available on the home page of empireblue.com, and is the newest addition to Empire's updated consumer website that was launched last year. The site was based on feedback from thousands of members, who asked for a more customized, interactive web experience.
"Customers have told us that they want more from their health Web site," said Wagar. "Empire is committed to meeting their expectations by redefining how they interact with us online as part of our overall effort to improve service, quality and help improve their health"
In addition to the tools highlighted in the Web Overview eTutorial, some of the key features of the updated empireblue.com Web site include:
- An intuitive, easy to navigate site requiring fewer clicks to find information the user needs.
- Charts and graphs that clearly display benefits and claims information making it easier to understand how much a member will pay out-of-pocket, and what their health insurance plan covers.
- A more personalized online experience with custom account summaries and quick links to common tasks.
And it's green – members can see all of this information without paper!
The Basics of Health Insurance eTutorial can be viewed at empireblue.com/basics, and the Web Overview eTutorial can be viewed at empireblue.com/guidedtour.
About Empire BlueCross BlueShield:
Serving New Yorkers for over 75 years, Empire BlueCross BlueShield is the largest health insurer in New York supporting nearly six million members and more than 38,000 business, union and small employers in New York. Empire BlueCross BlueShield (Empire) is the trade name of Empire HealthChoice Assurance, Inc., and Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield HMO is the trade name of Empire HealthChoice HMO, Inc., independent licensees of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, serving residents and businesses in the 28 eastern and southeastern counties of New York State. Additional information about Empire is available at www.empireblue.com. Also, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/healthjoinin, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HealthJoinInEmpire, or visit our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/healthjoinin