DES MOINES – Fresh off of announcing premium rate increases for next year – and snubbing participation in the Obamacare health insurance marketplace – Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield announced it has partnered with Hy-Vee and UnityPoint Health in offering what they call “a unique new option in health insurance, collaboratively designed to reward customers for healthy behaviors.”
The plan, called “Blue RewardsSM”, integrates the true coordinated care of the UnityPoint Health provider network combined with the retail convenience of Hy-Vee’s pharmacy, healthy food, wellness and dietitian services all in an Affordable Care Act (ACA) health insurance option from Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield.
“This collaboration is part of our strategy to keep health care local and sustainable, and promote health through convenience,” said Laura Jackson, Wellmark’s executive vice president for Health Care Innovation & Business Development. “We know consumers turn to brands they know and trust, which makes this collaboration among three strong Iowa brands even more meaningful for Iowans.”
Like other ACA plans, members will be able to choose from Bronze, Silver and Gold metallic level options, selecting the level of coverage that’s right for them. Members will have access to Wellmark’s extensive physician and hospital network, however, they will receive the lowest out-of-pocket costs when they select a UnityPoint Health-associated provider or hospital and fill prescriptions at Hy-Vee pharmacies.
This concept is the first of its kind in Iowa, but is consistent with national trends that extend the convenience of health and wellness into environments where customers live, work and shop. Individuals and small businesses will be able to purchase Blue Rewards during the 2015 open enrollment period, which begins Nov. 15 and Oct. 1, respectively.
According to Wellmark, evidence has proven that patients who have a personal physician have better health outcomes and experience overall lower costs for health care. Blue Rewards members can expect a highly coordinated care experience between their UnityPoint Health providers, Hy-Vee dietitians and pharmacists, and their Wellmark care support team. This collaboration will ensure members get the right care at the right time in the right setting.
“At UnityPoint Health, our commitment to the communities we serve is to help get them to their healthiest state possible with preventive solutions and access to quality health care providers,” said Kevin Vermeer, UnityPoint Health’s executive vice president and chief strategy officer. “We believe our approach, a coordinated care model, will be enhanced through this collaboration.”
Designed to appeal to today’s busy, health-conscious consumer, Blue Rewards members will find it easy to extend their wellness experience beyond what’s available in their plan by accessing a variety of convenient health-related options at Hy-Vee, such as health assessments, wellness screenings, nutrition counseling and of course, healthy food options.
“Hy-Vee is committed to helping our customers live healthy lifestyles,” said Sheila Laing, senior vice president of Health & Wellness Solutions for Hy-Vee. “This collaboration pairs Hy-Vee’s dietitian services, pharmacy solutions and healthy food offerings with two companies who share our commitment to community wellness.”
Pending regulatory approval, consumers will be able to find the new Blue Rewards products during open enrollment through authorized Wellmark agents or at Wellmark.com. Additional product information will be available prior to the 2015 open enrollment period.