The following post appeared in the February 6, 2015 edition of News from NASHCO. To read the full newsletter or to sign up, please click here.
Consumers Mutual Insurance of Michigan (CMI) takes pride in its innovative approach to health insurance. In fact, it has developed a “How to Shop for Health Insurance” guide, which is available for distribution through agents, hospitals, health departments, and non-profit organizations. The primary targets of the guide are those who may be in need of educational support before they go shopping for health insurance.
The guide includes a side-by-side comparison for buying health insurance versus buying a car; definitions of basic health insurance terms; explanation of the difference in coverage for each metal tier; essential health benefits covered in Marketplace plans; and questions to ask before purchasing insurance. The guide also goes into detail about some of the most prominent innovations offered by CMI.
In particular, CMI offers a Chronic Disease Management benefit designed to alleviate the financial burden of managing a chronic condition. Members who live with any of the conditions in the program – including diabetes, heart disease, asthma, and sleep apnea – will have 100% coverage for approved office visits, lab services, and generic drugs with no out-of-pocket costs.
To illustrate why such a program is so valuable, CMI cites Katie’s story. Katie is one of CMI’s members who has both asthma and diabetes, and has struggled to manage these conditions in the past, both financially and medically. Her bouts with these illnesses have also led her to battle periods of depression. However, after enrolling in a CMI plan, Katie has saved over $1,600 annually in out-of-pocket costs.
In addition to the Chronic Disease Management benefit, CMI offers its members 24/7 phone and online access to licensed emergency physicians through a service called Stat Doctors to reduce costs and emergency room visits. The CO-OP also utilizes Medtipster, which helps its members find the lowest-cost prescriptions at participating pharmacies. Additionally, CMI rewards its members for healthy behavior through its Healthee Rewards program. Healthee Rewards provides $25 incentives for completing each of the following steps: creating an account through the member portal on CMI’s website, selecting a primary care physician, completing an annual physical and recommended labs, and completing a health risk assessment.
Taken together, Consumers Mutual Insurance is taking great strides to put its members first through innovative benefit designs that save money and make them healthier. Check back in the coming months for more innovations.