Health Care Corner

Five Ways to Cut Health Care Costs

Use Your Benefits Wisely to Save Money in 2014 and Beyond 

The BIAW Health Insurance Plans provide outstanding benefits—and when you know how to make the most of them, you can keep costs down for yourself and your family. Try these practical strategies to cut expenses this year:

1) Choose Network Providers. Choose providers: doctors, specialists, hospitals, and lab and test facilities in your Health Plan’s network. The plan pays less if you use a non-network provider and you pay more. You’ll receive the highest benefit coverage when you choose and use a Preferred or Participating Provider.

2) Choose Generic Drugs. Generic drugs are lower-cost drugs that must meet the same Food and Drug Administration’s quality standards as brand-name drugs. Ask your doctor if there is a generic option for the prescriptions you use. You’ll save money because you always pay the lowest copay for generic prescriptions.

3) Use the Mail Order Pharmacy. For convenience, purchase long term or maintenance medications that you take regularly (for example, drugs that control blood pressure or lower cholesterol) by mail. You’ll enjoy free standard shipping, convenient home delivery and easy refills. You may save money because one copay or coinsurance covers up to a 90-day supply. To get started, go to www.regencerx.com and choose Get Prescriptions, or call the number on your Regence ID card.

4) Take Advantage of Preventive Care Benefits. Your health plan covers many preventive care services, such as routine exams and tests, immunizations, women’s annual exams and mammograms. Take advantage of these services, which can detect health issues early, when medical care is most effective—and usually less costly. For members of the BIAW Health Insurance Trust, your health plan covers 100% of routine preventive care. You do not need to pay the office visit copay for preventive care visits if you choose a provider in the Preferred Networks.

5) Be Informed about Health Topics. When you’re well-informed, you’ll be prepared to make smart, cost effective health care decisions. Take advantage of the free resources available to help you improve and maintain your healthBIAW Health Insurance Trust members can visit www.Regence.com and click “Register” to get started. This website is designed to advise, provide tools and resources to help you navigate through health care issues and reward you for taking opportunities to get healthy. Take a general health assessment, enroll in an online wellness program, find a doctor or find out about various health issues.