With Compass, One Call Can Earn Cash

After helping negotiate the new state master contract last year, members of the SEA’s master bargaining team hit the road to explain the then-tentative agreement at worksites across the state.

In talking about health care changes, bargaining team member Dennis Meuse took time to make sure his fellow members understood an important benefit: the money-saving Compass Smart Shopper program that is available to those covered by the State Employee Health Benefit.

(Note: Some other worksites, such as CCSNH, have access to the Compass Smart Shopper benefit).

Simply put, Compass works like this: you need a medical procedure done, you call Compass to find the most cost-effective choice and if you choose it, you get a cash incentive.

“I had never used Compass before and I had to have an MRI done last summer,” Meuse said. “Out of sheer curiosity, I called Compass to see how it worked. I called the number and explained my situation and they said it was a procedure that was eligible for a cash reward for using a more cost-effective provider.”

Meuse explained that he’d already scheduled the procedure at one provider, but if he went to a different provider, he would receive a $75 cash incentive. Choosing still another provider would entitle him to a $150 incentive. As he found out, that was pretty much all he had to do.

“I asked what I had to do to process it, and they said absolutely nothing,” Meuse said. “I just had to notify Compass 24 hours before the procedure, and when I had it done something internally between Compass and Anthem made the connection that I had gone to the lowest cost provider.”

Within a few weeks, he said, he had a check for $150.

“There was no follow-up,” he said. “All I had to do was call Compass and let them know.”

Of course, you don’t always need to choose the most cost-effective choice. Meuse noted that he could have received an incentive for choosing a different facility for physical therapy, but he instead chose to go to a facility he was familiar with.

“As far as I’m concerned, Compass worked just as it’s been described to me,” Meuse said. “I had no issues at all and I wouldn’t hesitate to use it again. Now with the deductibles we’re facing, it’s worth making a phone call to save some money.”

You can find out more about Compass on the state’s website or at www.compasssmartshopper.com.

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