New Benefit Can Help Avoid Paying Deductibles
Thanks to the rollout of the Affordable Care Act and changes to the State Employee Health Benefit, there’s been a lot of chatter about health insurance this fall. You may have even heard about something called Site of Service, a new benefit in Executive Branch workers’ health coverage.
Site of Service was introduced to help control the cost of healthcare by utilizing a cost-effective provider. Anthem has designated Site of Service locations where you can get certain lab work or outpatient surgical procedures done without being subject to a deductible.
Linda Huard, a member of the master bargaining team and SEA chair of the Health Benefits Committee, said Anthem is encouraging use of these facilities because they charge the insurer less; that savings then gets passed on to you by lowering the total cost of our health plan.
“If your doctor orders blood work, for example, you’ll want to let him or her know that you want to use a Site of Service location,” Huard said. “When you use one of those preferred facilities, there is no out-of-pocket cost.”
“Additionally, we also have the benefit of the Compass SmartShopper program,” Huard said. “If you do a bit of homework and go to a preferred facility, you not only save money, you can be issued a check (amounts vary based on the covered services).”
Calls to Compass must be made minimally 24-hours in advance of your appointment to be eligible.
Site of Service, it must be noted, is not the same as the narrower network plans that Anthem is offering through the Affordable Care Act Marketplace. In an effort to keep costs down, those plans exclude some hospital systems from their network. The network for the State Employee Health Benefit, meanwhile, remains the same.
You can find more information on health benefits for Executive Branch workers at http://admin.state.nh.us/hr/open_enrollment_active.html.