The Rhode Ahead: Healthy Living with Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island.
Today we’re talking with Blue Cross Executive Vice President and Chief Customer Officer Melissa Cummings about what to consider when buying a health plan on your own.
This time of year is called Open Enrollment, and it’s for people who are under age 65 and don’t have coverage through work.
They can buy a plan for themselves or their families or make a change to their existing plan. The last day to make a change is December 31.
• One of the top things to consider is whether your plan offers access to the doctors you want to see. Many of us feel strongly about our doctors and we want to continue those important relationships. As a local nonprofit, Blue Cross has long-standing connections to doctor practices across Rhode Island. In some primary care practices, our members have a whole healthcare team to help with their care.
• Another thing to think about is whether you need a national network of doctors and hospitals. If all the care you receive is local, having a national network is like paying for extra cell phone data you don’t need.
• It’s important to find a plan that helps you be healthy. At Blue Cross, they’re passionate about helping Rhode Islanders live healthier lives, and our plans reflect that. Members who buy plans directly from them can earn wellness rewards from retailers like Amazon.com, Nike, and CVS Pharmacy.
• All of members can also take free classes at Your Blue Store locations in East Providence, Lincoln, and Warwick. They have dozens of free fitness classes every week, from yoga to circuit training. They even offer meditation classes.
• You should also be sure to take advantage of the preventive care available with your plan, which can help you avoid health issues or find them in their early stages. When members see a provider in the Blue Cross network, they pay $0 for their annual checkup as well as for flu shots and certain screenings. Having regular dental exams is also an important part of preventive care, so you can add a Blue Cross Dental plan to keep your whole body healthy.