Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in New Hampshire members now have a new place to turn for ‘minor’ emergencies or when their doctor isn’t available, thanks to a new program.
Anthem subscribers are able to take advantage of a new benefit which provides coverage at Walk-In and Urgent Care Centers across New Hampshire.
“Emergency departments across our state do a fantastic job of delivering a wide array of critical and life-saving care to those who need it,” said Robert Noonan, Vice President, Provider Engagement & Contracting, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in New Hampshire. “Unfortunately, if you go to the emergency department with a more minor issue – such as a sprained ankle or sore throat, you may be faced with a longer wait time while the staff is treating sicker patients.”
A press release announcing the program said that some studies have indicated that the average wait time in a hospital room (ER) is three hours and that more than half of all cases could have been handled in the Walk-In or Urgent Care Center setting. And due to the staffing and equipment requirements, care in the emergency department setting is also very expensive, often with higher out-of-pocket expenses for the patient. “Depending on one’s coverage, a standard benefit ER co-pay could be $100 or even higher,” Mr. Noonan said. “The co-pay at one of these Centers, for the same non-emergent treatment, could be as low as $20 if at a walk-in-center or $50 if at an urgent-care center.”
Walk-In and Urgent Care Centers provide a broad range of diagnostic and treatment options and are fully staffed by licensed physicians, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners. Many are open 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. (or later) and many offer weekend hours; Anthem members do not need an appointment or a referral from their primary care provider. Centers typically can treat a variety of non life-threatening issues including minor lacerations, minor burns, sprains and strains, sports injuries, sore throats, ear aches, or the flu. The wait times are generally far shorter than that of an emergency department.
As benefits and co-pays may vary based on one’s plan and by facility, Anthem members should check with their employer for details or call the phone number listed on their back of their identification cards with any questions.
“This benefit is part of our ongoing mission to provide our members with quality, cost-effective care in the most appropriate setting,” said Douglas J. Wenners, president and general manager, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in New Hampshire. “We strongly feel that this new program helps support that mission and are excited to partner with local providers in this initiative.”
About Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in New Hampshire
Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is the trade name of Anthem Health Plans of New Hampshire, Inc., an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association®. ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Additional information about Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in New Hampshire is available at www.anthem.com.
Source: Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in New Hampshire
Web Site: http://www.anthem.com/