Being Self-Insured Benefits the Trust’s Members
Did you know the Bledsoe Health Trust is self-insured? That means the Trust provides your benefits, instead of paying premiums for an insurance company to do so. This gives the Trust the ability to keep costs down while providing quality benefits for you.
The advantages of being self-insured ultimately benefits its members (that’s you). For example:
- Nonprofit: The Health Trust puts any excess money (when claims are lower than expected) back into the Health Trust to pay for future claims. (An insurance company exists to make and keep profits.)
- Tax savings: The Health Trust is exempt from taxes, which means there is more money to pay your claims. (An insurance company must pay taxes–and passes that expense on to you.)
- Investments: The Health Trust can earn interest on money until it is needed to pay claims, and then use those earnings to help offset the rising cost of health care for its members, and maintain strong benefits with minimal cost increases. (An insurance company does not leverage its income for your benefit.)
- Benefit Plan: The Health Trust has more flexibility to change its benefit plan, based on member needs. (An insurance company offers a “one size fits all” plan and any policy change is generally subject to approval by an insurance commissioner.)
Your Choices Impact All Members
Because the Health Trust is self-insured, all of the money to pay claims comes from the monthly employer contributions and Trust investment earnings. If the cost of claims exceeds the income from these sources, the difference must be paid with the Health Trust’s reserves. When reserves get too low, members may share more of the costs through higher deductibles or out-of-pocket costs.
However, when Health Trust participants use their benefits wisely, they help to keep costs down and reduce cost-sharing provisions. Remember, when you save money, the Trust saves money, and that’s good for everyone!
Here are seven ways to save money for yourself and the Health Trust:
- Get regular preventive care. It’s free for you (the Health Plan covers services recommended under the Affordable Care Act at 100%) and helps catch serious health issues early, when treatment is usually less costly and more effective.
- Stay in the network. You’ll save money when you choose Preferred Providers in the Regence network because they charge a discounted rate. To find a Preferred Provider near you, go to regence.com and look for doctors in the Preferred network. Or call 800-245-9272 (toll-free) to request a free directory.
- Take advantage of services offered at no cost to you. For example, enroll in the Quit for Life Program (1-866-QUIT-4-LIFE) to quit smoking. Use the Regence Chronic Condition Manager (800-267-6729) program if you have a covered chronic condition. These services help you get and stay healthy!
- Save the emergency room for life-threatening emergencies. Find an urgent care clinic near you on regence.com, then go there for things like a sprained ankle or a cut needing stitches.
- Ask for generic medications. More generics become available all the time, so ask your doctor if a generic alternative (or over-the-counter medication) is right for you. You’ll save with a lower copay and the Health Trust pays a fraction of the cost of brand-name drugs when you use a generic.
- Use mail-order to buy prescriptions you take regularly. Enjoy the convenience of a three-month supply delivered to your door, and save money with a lower copay.
- Examine your Explanation of Benefits (EOB). Did you know that up to 80% of medical bills have errors? Remember to check your statement to make sure the claims are for services you actually received.