CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield Launches HealthyBlue Product Portfolio

CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield (CareFirst) is introducing an innovative, new portfolio of health plans – called HealthyBlue – designed to foster and reward healthy lifestyles and promote collaboration between patients and their primary care physicians (PCPs). The products are specifically designed to make it easy for patients to seek necessary care, make them aware of their health risks, and provide them information and incentives to get and stay healthy.

“HealthyBlue is like no other health plan we have ever offered and unlike any other plan available in our region today,” said Chet Burrell, CareFirst President and CEO. “HealthyBlue offers direct, significant financial incentives to members who take control of their health care decisions and who work to improve their health status. If we are to keep health care affordable, it is essential that more focus be placed on keeping people healthy, not just treating them when they are sick. HealthyBlue is a firm step in that direction.”

CareFirst begins selling its HealthyBlue products for all market segments on September 1 and with coverage effective dates beginning October 1, 2010.

Members who enroll in HealthyBlue first select a PCP and complete an online health assessment. They then go to their selected PCP for a Health and Wellness evaluation. Members who meet certain health criteria can earn rewards of up to $300 for an individual and $700 for a family. Rewards will be paid as a Healthy Rewards gift card or as a contribution to a health savings account. Members who do not immediately qualify for a reward will work with their PCP to develop a Healthy Action Plan and can receive the reward if they achieve the goals of the plan.

HealthyBlue products contain a number of other innovative components aimed at removing obstacles to care and providing members with a variety of choices when accessing care.

  • Routine PCP office visits and preventive care at no cost (no copays or deductibles)
  • Generic medications at no cost for treatment of asthma, high blood pressure, cholesterol, depression and diabetes
  • A product design that provides members choice and flexibility in choosing physicians and accessing care by offering three options:

Option 1 – Provides the greatest cost savings and maximizes the benefits of member/doctor partnership when members seek care from their CareFirst BlueChoice personal PCP.

Option 2 – Allows members to obtain care directly through a CareFirst BlueChoice specialist without first obtaining a referral. This option costs a little more but offers members freedom when selecting a doctor.

Option 3 – Offers members the flexibility to visit any doctor in the CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield PPO network or any other provider outside of the CareFirst network. This option carries more expense to the member than Options 1 or 2.

“We know that there is already great interest in the marketplace in HealthyBlue,” Burrell added. “Coupled with our Primary Care Medical Home program which will launch in 2011, we believe CareFirst will have in place the industry’s most comprehensive approach to engage and reward its members and participating physicians for working together to improve health care quality and lower health care costs.”

About CareFirst

In its 73rd year of service, CareFirst, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, is a not-for-profit health care company which, through its affiliates and subsidiaries, offers a comprehensive portfolio of health insurance products and administrative services to nearly 3.4 million individuals and groups in Maryland, the District of Columbia and Northern Virginia. Through its CareFirst Commitment initiative and other public mission activities, CareFirst supports efforts to increase the accessibility, affordability, safety and quality of health care throughout its market areas. To learn more about CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, visit our Web site at:

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