Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Virginia Introduces New Generation of Consumer Driven Health Products

Thursday, October 18, 2007 General News
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RICHMOND, Va., Oct. 17 Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shieldin Virginia is now offering new health plan options for employers andindividuals that will change the way consumers think about health care-helpingthem to lead healthier lives and gain control over the rising cost of care.These consumer driven health products (CDHPs) and services will be availablefor large and small businesses, and individuals, effective Jan. 1, 2008.

"Anthem members who choose these consumer-driven products will have bettersupport to help them lead healthier lives," said Tom Byrd, president, AnthemBlue Cross and Blue Shield in Virginia. "These plans give consumers thedecision-making power and control to direct how they want to spend theirhealth care dollars. For physicians, the products help create more informedpatients who know what kind of questions to ask. And for employers, theseproducts help engage employees and make them active partners in helping tocontrol the rising cost of health care. More informed consumers can makebetter health care decisions."

Anthem's CDHP options will combine an employee- and/or employer-fundedhealth account with traditional PPO health coverage. Each is paired withpowerful online decision support tools, and personal health coaching, thatconsumers can use to learn more about their health care treatment and costoptions. Extensive preventive care, and smoking cessation and weightmanagement programs are also benefits of the products.

Not only does Anthem's Lumenos suite of products put consumers more incontrol of their health and their health care dollars, it also offers them anincentive to make better lifestyle choices, spend wisely, and to demand betterhealth care quality and value. In addition, most consumers will receivefinancial rewards for completing various wellness programs

For example, when members complete an online health assessment, enroll ina program with a health coach, successfully complete a smoking cessationprogram or make other healthy lifestyle choices, they will receive tangibleincentives and rewards under these health plans. These incentives range from$50 for completing a smoking cessation program to $200 for graduating from apersonal health coaching program that will enable the consumer to bettermanage their condition. These unique features, combined with Anthem's networkstrength, innovative provider partnerships, local presence and powerful brandname will provide unparalleled value to consumers.

"Numerous studies indicate that a significant portion of health care costsare related to personal behaviors, such as smoking, poor nutrition and lack ofphysical activity. With our Lumenos portfolio of products and services, we'reempowering consumers through unique and robust online tools, and incentivesthat encourage and reward them for choosing to live healthier lifestyles,"said Jay Schukman, M.D., medical director, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shieldin Virginia.

Early evidence about CDHPs points to increased healthy behaviors by thosewho have chosen a Health Reimbursement Account, Health Savings Account orHealth Incentive Account plan. According to a recent study by KnowledgeNetworks (August 2007) for the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, consumersin these plans were found to be:

Additionally, consumers with chronic conditions were 20 percent morelikely to follow their treatment regimens. According to Dr. Schukman, this isa powerfully telling figure for both members and their employees - becauseconsumers with these conditions (such as diabetes or high blood pressure)generally have complex, sometimes expensive, health regimens that they mustfollow. Successfully following these regimens can mean better health outcomesand lower long-term costs.

For more information about Anthem's product offerings, please call1-800-543-8919 or your local broker.

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