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5 key ways our plans support preventive health

Illness and disease don’t have an abundance of fans. One thing that health insurers, employers and your employees can all agree on: it’s better all-around to stay as healthy as we can. Healthy bodies are the easiest to fix. Employees with fewer claims have less medical expense, fewer lost days of work from caring for themselves or their family members. Healthy people have been shown to be happier overall than those with chronic disease, and better able to focus on their jobs and do their best work.

It’s why Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield includes preventive care among our top areas of focus for every member.

Here are some of the resources we offer to optimize your employees’ health and wellbeing (available preventive services vary by plan):

  1. Little or no cost for preventive care. Ever since the Affordable Care Act, if you’re a fully insured group, we pick up the tab for most preventive services. By covering such services, we remove a major barrier to preventive care that would otherwise keep many members at home. Instead, taking advantage of covered preventive visits and services requires little to no expense for their families and can pay off in big ways. Plus, wellness visits help establish and build those primary care relationships so vital to members’ ongoing care. Covered preventive services typically include:
    • Annual wellness exams with appropriate lab tests
    • Regular immunizations
    • Newborn and well-child pediatric visits at designated milestone ages
    • Cancer screenings when appropriate for age and gender
  2. 24/7 online access to robust wellness information and tools. Your employees have 24/7 online access to their individualized plan information and many other helpful tools in our Blueprint Portal site and app. Within the main portal, a special Blueprint Wellness Portal gives your employees a wealth of comprehensive wellness tools. These range from simple and encouraging information about how to adopt healthy lifestyles to interactive challenges and personal wellness coaching. Members have full access to this content at no additional charge. Using our resources, your company can build an interactive wellness program with incentives for meeting goals or milestones; such programs that incentivize their health progress can reduce claims while creating a popular benefit your staff will appreciate. Examples of our Blueprint Wellness Portal health and wellbeing content are:
    • Online health risk assessments to establish members’ baseline health and set goals to track their progress
    • A library of high-quality information articles, videos, games and quizzes on health and wellbeing topics like stress management, living with diabetes, nutrition and healthy cooking, exercise, sleep and mindfulness
    • Self-paced healthy lifestyle programs organized into “missions” members can choose to complete
    • Personal coaching towards wellness goals like smoking cessation, weight management, increasing exercise, tapping into happiness and learning to minimize stress
    • Access to a 24/7 nurse helpline

    Besides the Blueprint Wellness Portal content, elsewhere in Blueprint Portal, members can access healthy deals and discounts through our Blue365 program with local and national brands and connect to a physician for a telehealth appointment through our Virtual Health program.

  3. Specialty case management for pregnant women. Expectant mothers deserve an extra level of preventive care and attention throughout their pregnancy. Our Special Delivery prenatal care management program (members can register through Blueprint Portal) screens expectant mothers for high-risk factors to reduce pregnancy and delivery complications and prevent pre-term births. All participants complete a phone or online screening, receive educational materials and newborn gifts, and take a second screening at 26 weeks. Participants identified as high risk in either screening receive individual attention from our nurse case managers. A nurse contacts the mother and builds trust as we help her get her the extra care resources she needs, then monitors her throughout her pregnancy.
  4. Population health and disease chronic condition management programs to prevent or slow the advancement of illness. Population health, chronic condition management and case management are major parts of many plans. These programs identify high-risk cases, then our nurses reach out to members and work directly with them over time. The nurses teach members about preventive self-care to curtail their conditions from worsening and identify new symptoms before they become unmanageable. This sustained one-on-one nurse-patient relationship builds trust and helps our members achieve better health outcomes.
  5. Preventive dentistry through medical/dental integration for qualifying members. Our Dental Xtra program provides additional dental benefits to members with conditions known to be affected by oral health. A new study by the Mayo Clinic found that members enrolled in our Dental Xtra program’s preventive dentistry for two conditions, diabetes and coronary artery disease, experienced significantly better health and more medical savings than members who were not enrolled in the program. The coordinated, proactive dental care for members with these conditions that are known to be particularly impacted by dental health made a clear difference for participants. We continue to provide this targeted preventive dental care in cooperation with their medical providers.

The preventive coverage you choose may vary according to your individual group’s needs. Some grandfathered plans offer less preventive coverage than the ACA compliant metallic plans.  A healthy workforce, with healthy families, is a workforce that can focus on giving their best to their roles in your organization and take care of your customers in return.