NPR Features SmartShopper Program

For many in the SEA/SEIU Local 1984, the Vitals SmartShopper program is not a new concept — we’ve had it for years. When you need lab work, scans or a medical procedure done, you can call SmartShopper to find the most cost-effective facility. If you choose that facility, you get a cash reward.

HealthBuzzApparently, though, the idea hasn’t quite caught on all around the country yet. That’s why the program, and its association with state employees, caught the eye of NPR’s Planet Money team. Last month, reporter David Kestenbaum came to New Hampshire to do a story on the program, and that story is now available online here. The story includes several people you’ll be familiar with, including member Jonathan Hallet and SEA spokesperson Beth D’Ovidio.

The podcast is a good reminder that SmartShopper is a great benefit for those who have it. After all, where else would you get paid to have lab work done?

Have questions about SmartShopper? There are plenty of answers (and questions) in this FAQ.

Do you have health benefit questions? Send them to Chris Porter at and put “Ask Chris” in the subject line. Chris is our Compensation and Benefit Research Specialist who will advocate for members experiencing challenges with their contracted medical benefits. We’ll post answers to commonly posed questions in this column.

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