Treatment paradigms are changing for the end-user, and new insurance coverage provided by AssuredPartners is keeping up with the times with multiple programs aimed at ensuring customers receive the best care possible.
For employees covered by its insurance plans, AssuredPartners has put together personalized programs to provide comprehensive coverage options, including traditional healthcare plans and voluntary benefit plans.
Steve Frescatore, AssuredPartners senior account manager, touts the coverage provided through the plans and points to the fact that the plans allow members to seek treatment through a variety of ways beyond their primary care provider. There are three options that members can choose to receive care: urgent care clinics, virtual doctor visits and the emergency room. But there is a significant pricing difference in these options, which covered members should keep in mind before deciding.
For virtual doctor’s office visits, the cost of the service is typically about $49, but preferred provider organization (PPO) members only pay a $25 copay. HSA members pay the full $49 cost if deductible is not yet satisfied. Virtual doctor’s visits, which are available to those under the UnitedHealthcare coverage, are beneficial in the fact that they are time-saving experiences. There is no waiting in a doctor’s office lobby, nor do you have to go through a triage experience. Frescatore notes the virtual visit isn’t something one would use for an emergency, such as a suspected broken bone or similar injury. It is convenient for more minor issues like a rash, though, Frescatore says.
“It’s really a great service for when you can’t see your primary physician, like if it’s late at night or on the weekends,” Frescatore adds.
Visits to the urgent care have an average cost of $150 per service. A PPO member pays a $75 copay and the HSA member pays the full cost if deductible is not yet satisfied. If the deductible is satisfied, the HSA member does not owe a copay, Frescatore notes.
Visits to the hospital emergency rooms though are a bit different in pricing structure. Most ER visits have an average cost of about $1,500, which is what the HSA member will pay if his or her deductible is not satisfied. PPO members through AssuredPartners pay a $200 copay, significantly higher than a visit to an urgent care center. Frescatore says too many people turn to the ER for minor medical issues, which can cause delays in treatment times. The higher copay cost is a way to have people think about whether their medical situation could be better handled at a place like an urgent care facility, or even the virtual visit.
In addition to typical health coverage, there are two additional programs that members can opt to join: Cyber Scout and Cancer Guardian.
Cyber Scout is an identity management service that provides multiple levels of protections for members, including Social Security Number monitoring, credit and debit card monitoring and social media monitoring. Also, the service alerts members if a registered sex offender has stolen their identity. Users provide their personal information to Cyber Scout and that information is monitored, Frescatore says. In addition to Cyber Scout protecting against identity theft, he emphasizes what’s more important is that the service offers a resolution.
“There are more than 14 million incidents of identity theft incidents each year — that’s one every three seconds,” he explains, and points out the odds having your identity stolen are fairly high. “This is just a good way to help people protect their personal information.”
Another voluntary program through AssuredPartners is Cancer Guardian. This program is a comprehensive cancer support program that provides members access to diagnostic testing that empowers employees to identify their genetic risk for various cancers. Covered individuals have access to advanced genetic testing, breast, colorectal, prostate, ovarian, fibroid, renal, gynecological and other types of cancers. The genetic testing offered through this program are more comprehensive than commercially available tests that are commonly advertised on television.
Advanced DNA testing like that offered by Cancer Guardian typically costs about $7,000 and is not normally covered by typical health insurance programs, Frescatore says.
For those who may be diagnosed with cancer, the Cancer Guardian program assigns members with a dedicated cancer specialist to support them through the treatment process, as well as second opinion reviews and on-site nurse navigators. For members who are diagnosed with cancer, the testing will provide doctors with guidance into the most effective treatments for the disease.
“This can help the doctor identify the most effective treatment option for the customer, which includes targeted therapies, immunotherapies or clinical trials and more,” Frescatore says.