A Healthy Incentive For Small Businesses

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in New Hampshire Launches Program Aimed at Helping Small Businesses to Lower Health Care Costs

A Healthy Incentive For Small Businesses

<0> Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in New HampshireChris Dugan, (603) 695-7202twitter: </0>

Employees of small businesses across New Hampshire can now earn rewards for choosing more cost-effective health care providers, thanks to a consumer-centric program announced today by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in New Hampshire.

Anthem’s innovative Compass SmartShopper program, previously only available in the large group market, is being expanded to include small group business effective January 1, 2013.

“Small businesses form the backbone of our local economy and this program helps give them access to more affordable health benefits for their employees,” said Lisa M. Guertin, president, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in New Hampshire.

Here’s how the program works: a member is referred by their physician for a medical service or diagnostic exam. The member then contacts Compass Health Care Advisers which provides information for area health care providers. If a member chooses to receive care from a more cost-effective provider for his or her health care service, they qualify for financial incentives ranging from $25.00 to $500.00 depending on the health care service.

“Our state is fortunate to have a broad range of highly skilled physicians who provide high-quality health care services and are able to offer those services in a number of different physical locations,” Ms. Guertin said. “However, there can be a broad variation in cost for the same services based on where they are performed - as much as 250% - for some procedures. If employees choose to receive care in a lower-cost location, the employer benefits through lower claims costs and employees making informed health care decisions are rewarded for their engagement. It’s a true win-win.”

First introduced in 2010 to Anthem’s large group customers, the Compass SmartShopper program has generated well over two million dollars in claims savings to date for local companies and has paid more than four hundred thousand dollars in incentive rewards. Currently 45 New Hampshire businesses, including state employees, participate in the program.

“It’s important to note that all of Anthem’s small group members and their dependants are automatically enrolled in the program beginning January 1, 2013, and participation is completely voluntary and confidential,” said Robert Benedetto, director of small group sales for Anthem. “And the program is location-based, not doctor-based, which means employees are not being asked to change doctors.”

Currently the program, which is exclusive to Anthem members, targets a growing list of over 40 high volume elective procedures and tests including: Carpal Tunnel Surgery, Colonoscopy, CT (Computerized Tomography) Scan, Ear/Nose/Throat Surgery, Hernia Repair, Knee Arthroscopy, Mammogram, MRI, Shoulder Arthroscopy, Sinus Surgery, and Upper GI diagnostic exams; additional services will be added over time. “Compass SmartShopper has been tailored to fit seamlessly with our current products to offer maximum value to our small group members,” Mr. Benedetto noted. “Not only can this effort represent a real cost avoidance to an employer, it can also support healthier and more productive employees as the program covers a range of recommended screenings. It is an important first step in providing an avenue for employees to protect the health benefits they have against the rising cost of medical inflation.”

Mr. Benedetto added that the program is designed to work seamlessly with Anthem’s Site of Service Benefit option, another popular transparency initiative designed to help lower member out of pocket costs.

For more information about Compass SmartShopper, please visit or call 1-800-824-9127.

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is the trade name of Anthem Health Plans of New Hampshire, Inc., an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. ®ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Additional information about Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in New Hampshire is available at . Also, follow us on Twitter at , on Facebook at , or visit our YouTube channel at .