Consumerism Tools

You can reduce your family’s health care costs and help control costs for the College by using the following consumerism tools. Albion College is self-funded; the College pays claim costs, not Blue Cross Blue Shield. The College strives to provide a competitive, comprehensive benefits package while being fiscally responsible as the costs of health care continue to rise. Partnering together, the College and employees can become more engaged consumers, making informed decisions about their health care needs.

Skipping medically necessary procedures, screenings, appointments, or prescriptions are not safe cost saving strategies.

Blue Cross Blue Shield Resources

Ways to Reduce Your Family's Health Care Costs

Get Your Annual Physical, Preventative Care, Age-Appropriate Screenings
Treatment is much less costly (and with better prognosis) when diagnosed in the early stages

Compare Costs and Quality of Care
For non-emergency care, compare procedural costs and quality ratings by facility
http://www.bcbs.com > Doctors & Hospitals > Find a Doctor > Compare Cost and Quality

Telemedicine Resource: BCBS Online Visits for Medical Care
24/7 virtual doctor’s appointment at no cost to you
Online Visits cost the College less than office visits and urgent care
Download the BCBSM Online Visits App

Compare Costs: Prescription Drugs
Prescription drugs vary by pharmacy, compare the cost of yours at:
http://www.bcbsm.com > My Coverage > Price a Drug

Stay In-Network
Ensuring your procedure is in-network wil llower your out-of-pocket costs

Avoid Hospital For Routine Care
Only use hospitals for emergencies and needed procedures (e.g. surgery)
Routine care charges can be 10x more expensive when done in the hospital
Alternatives: use urgent care of your primary care physician

Ensure Your Care Is Necessary
Challenge excessive or redundant procedures (e.g. diagnostic tests)

Free Medical Advice Using the 24-Hour BCBS Nurse Line
Call 800-775-2583

Use Generic Prescription Drugs
When available, on average generics are 4x less expensive than brand name

Mental Health Resources
Employee Assistance Program: Contact 800-269-5870 for 4 free counseling sessions per year
BCBS Online Visits for virtual therapy and psychiatric care ($20 co-pay)

Physical Health Resources
Employees and their families have free access to the Dow and Depot on campus