BCBSNC - Archive
No Flu For You: 5 Flu Shot Myths Debunked
It’s that time of year; flu season is upon us. That means flu shots. Maybe you’re ready to go and are rushing to Target because they’re offering discounts to shoppers who get the flu shot as an incentive. Great! You know the importance of getting the flu shot, not just for yourself but for your […]
3rd Annual Sort-A-Rama Volunteers Sort 170,000 Meals For Needy NC Families
The backdrop was an immense warehouse in RTP, filled with hundreds of bins and surrounded by a fleet of volunteers. The end result was over 170,000 meals sorted for distribution to needy families by the Food Bank of Central and Eastern NC. On September 11, 2014, employees from BASF, Food Lion, Cisco, and many other […]
Navigating In-Network and Out-of-Network Charges
Whether you’re signing up for a health plan, searching for a doctor or just checking to see if you owe anything, the terms “in-network” and “out-of-network” are bound to pop up. And sooner than you might expect. With open enrollment around the corner, keep this in mind: Know your network. It’s important because most of […]
In the Office: Viruses Spread Faster Than You Think
Enterovirus D68 has made news all across the world after an outbreak in the Midwest. In the last few days, the virus popped up in over ten states, causing symptoms like coughing, wheezing, and hypoxemia, particularly in children. With over hundreds of cases, Entervirus D68 has put children in both emergency rooms and intensive care […]
The Inside Scoop on Health Trackers and Wearables from Christine Evans of Fitbit
Walk in to any store from Target to Tory Burch, and you’ll see that health trackers and wearables are everywhere. There’s no denying it: The old-school pedometer has gotten a facelift. And with Apple’s recent announcement, we can be sure it’s certainly not going away any time soon. The new wearable devices and mobile apps not […]
How Will the Future of Health Care Be Different from the Present?
Imagine a future where you — the health care consumer — are truly in charge of your care. Where you have the information you need to make smart decisions. And where you shop for health services the way you’d shop for a new car or hire an electrician. Is this a safe prediction for health […]
5 Ways Not to Sabotage Your First 5K
Last October I ran my first 5K. I wish I could tell you that after months of training and planning that the whole thing went off without a hitch, that I had my best personal time, and I blasted through that finish line in a blaze of glory. But it was anything but that. I’ve […]
How to Start a #HealthyConversation
Our health is intensely personal. Yet it doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Which is why having “healthy” conversations – the kind where you talk about your health – are so important.If you have a family history of heart disease, cancer or diabetes, you need a healthy conversation. If you want to help a friend who’s […]
Just What Are “Bundled Payments?”
Health care has more than its share of confusing terminology and jargon. One of our goals at BCBSNC is to break down the terms and concepts to give you the knowledge you need as a health care consumer. In that spirit, we give you the latest term that’s catching on: Bundled payments. It’s essentially a […]
TGIM – Thank Goodness it’s… Monday?
More and more people actually look forward to the distraction work can bring to escape stress at home. It’s true! In fact, a recent study, When Work Becomes A Haven From Stress At Home, showed that participants’ cortisol levels, a hormone released in response to stress, spiked more when at home than at work.
Make it a Smooth Journey with These Healthy Travel Tips
There’s a reason that highways and airport terminals are decked out with signs for fast, greasy food. Marketers know that our options are limited when we travel, so they capitalize on stressed out moms and dads with tired kids. A good strategy for avoiding the pitfalls of travel eating is to have a game plan […]
Small Businesses, Big Ideas: BCBSNC Hosts N&O’s Shop Talk
According to the Small Business Administration, two thirds of new jobs are created by businesses with fewer than 500 employees. On the other hand, the SBA says, only about half of those businesses are still open after five years. So if you’re running a business – or thinking about starting one – how do you […]
How Networking Works at BCBSNC and Why It Matters to You
Like many companies, BCBSNC sponsors and encourages internal networks for employees who share certain interests or have things in common. Employee networks help our workforce develop a sense of community with each other, regardless of location, job or department. There’s also a benefit that goes beyond our own 4,500 employees: Employee networks are helping us […]
How to Challenge Your Friends to Step Up
It’s basic but true: Your chances of starting and sticking with a fitness program increase if you’re among friends. The motivation and encouragement — and even a little healthy competition — that a group provides is hard to replicate by yourself. To help you get started, we want to share some tips that have proven […]
Why Are Some Insurers Issuing Rebates?
It might seem like a nice surprise to get a check in the mail that you weren’t expecting. But if that check comes from a health insurer, you might want to think about whether it really is a good deal. The Affordable Care Act requires individual and group health insurers to publicly report their medical […]
Suntans Fade, but the Sun’s Effects Last a Lifetime
Odds are we all know someone who has been affected by skin cancer. More than 1 million Americans are diagnosed with it each year, according to the American Cancer Society, including almost 60,000 people with melanoma — the most serious type. To avoid becoming one of these statistics, it’s important to know how to stay […]
What to Know and Do About Medical Overtreatment
Have you ever wondered if every medical test or procedure is really necessary? Clearly, some aren’t. The Institute of Medicine says $210 billion is wasted each year on medical overtreatment — tests and procedures that either aren’t necessary or duplicate previous tests. Overtreatment can even happen when you do something as simple as switching doctors. […]
Progress in the March Toward Better Health Care Value
You might not know it, but the odds are increasing that your doctor or hospital is getting paid for the quality of care you receive. The world of medical payments continues to shift in favor of health care value, and away from the volume of procedures performed, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association says […]
Health Care Fraud: The $80 Billion Crime
In a nation that spends a few trillion dollars a year on health care, there are bound to be some who try to take advantage of the system for their own gain. After all, it’s just a drop in the bucket, right? Wrong. These fraudulent actions have a big and expensive impact. In 2013, the FBI estimated that health care fraud costs the U.S. $80 billion every year. Other estimates go even higher.
Grill it Up – In Good Health – This July 4th
One of the best ways to eat healthy this summer just might be waiting in your back yard. That’s right, I’m talking about your grill, that quintessential summertime cooking surface.
Health in a Hurry: There’s an App for That
Do health apps work? Can they help us make better choices around nutrition, fitness and health?
Another Private Exchange Opens for Business in NC
Get ready for more options when it comes to choosing your annual health benefits. BCBSNC is launching its first private exchange for North Carolina employers with at least 51 employees. Beginning Sept. 1, the exchange lets employers select up to four different medical plans to offer their employees from a menu of 18 plan options. […]
Sticker Shock: The Impact of Hidden Medical Costs
Our inability to compare cost and quality information means there isn’t a way to keep prices in check. Without checks and balances, all of our medical costs rise.
5 Easy Ways to Make Your Smoothies Even Healthier
by Veronica Verhoff, Onsite Nutritionist at BCBSNC This time of year, smoothies become a go-to drink, both for their nutrient value and for their great taste. However, you may not be getting the most out of your smoothies. High sugar levels in many fruit smoothies lead to increased insulin (fat storage hormone) and reduced […]
U.S. Health Care Costs $2.8 Trillion. Do We Get Our Money’s Worth?
The United States spent $2.8 trillion on health care in 2012. So what did we get for our money? A last-place ranking in health quality and efficiency among 11 leading nations, according to a new report. The Commonwealth Fund measured a variety of health rankings and compared the results. Not only did the U.S. fare […]
The CSA in Your Back Yard: This Garden Comes in a Box
he Produce Box is at the forefront of the sustainable food movement spreading across the state. The Raleigh-based, family-owned company supports 40 North Carolina farms by getting their goods in consumers’ hands.
Walking with Dinosaurs in Durham to Promote Outdoor Play
For generations, kids and adults alike have found adventure in the 86-acre grounds of the Museum of Life and Science in Durham. Filled with amazing plants, animals, and the errant dinosaur or two, it’s something of an institution. When my son was a toddler, he called it the “dinosaur place” and it’s always been a […]
Breast Cancer: A Common Enemy That Impacts Us All
by King Prather I never knew my grandparents. Two died before I was born, one died within a year and another died within six years after I was born. I had my picture taken with the last one and I can conjure up an image or two of her with an apron and a cast […]
The Drug That Costs $1,000 a Day — And Why You Should Care
You have to love the TV pitchman’s favorite question: “Why pay more?” But it’s no longer good for a chuckle when you find out there’s an actual answer. In the case of Sovaldi, the new hepatitis C drug, someone has to pay more — a lot more — than what the vast majority of other […]
Costly Habits: What $1.5 Trillion Looks Like
All the cheeseburgers, cigarettes and channel-surfing Americans enjoy certainly take their toll: Unhealthy lifestyles account for up to 40 percent of all deaths in the U.S.
You Don’t Snooze, You Lose: 20 Sleep Tips for #BetterSleepMonth
With more than half of Americans between the ages of 25-55 struggling to sleep at night, and more research pointing to the dangers of sleep debt for any age, it’s safe to say sleep — or lack therof – has big consequences, both for our health and well-being. From higher risk of obesity to the […]
Exchanging Glances: More Employers Looking at Private Exchanges
The first cycle of enrollments on the new government-run health exchanges is over. The next open enrollment period doesn’t start until November. Which makes this “quiet” period the perfect time to take stock of what’s happening with another new mechanism for obtaining health insurance: The private exchange. Private exchanges are the emerging marketplaces offered by […]
The Building Blocks of Hospital Quality in North Carolina
What does quality care mean for North Carolinians? The impact is more far-reaching than you might have imagined.
Building North Carolina Communities with KaBOOM!
by Kathy Higgins Vice President, Corporate Affairs President, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation For today’s kids, outdoor play is being squeezed out by computer games, television, music and electronic gadgets. In addition, a recent Harris Interactive poll commissioned by KaBOOM! found that 59% of parents said there’s no place […]
What Happens When Hospitals Buy Up Physicians?
What happens when hospitals buy up physicians? The answer might surprise you.
Making More Resources Available to Our Military Veterans
Did you know that one out of every 10 people in North Carolina has served in the military? With so many of our friends, neighbors and relatives having served our country, all of us should find a way to express our appreciation. One way we do that is by recognizing that military servicemen, servicewomen and […]
Meet Our New Customers: Who We Enrolled During the Affordable Care Act’s First Open Enrollment Period
As of May 1, 2014, we enrolled more than 232,000 customers in ACA plans through the Exchange. More North Carolinians having access to health insurance is a good thing. But the top-line enrollment number doesn’t tell the whole story.
From the Race 13.1 Experts: Balancing Family While Training for a Half Marathon
Training for a Half Marathon is no easy feat, but the experts at Race 13.1 have some great tips to share.
5 Emergency Room Myths Busted
If you follow us on Facebook, you might have caught the recent conversation on our page about emergency room (ER) use. Folks felt strongly about this topic, and we had a ton of feedback on the subject. Here’s what we shared: “Half of ER visits aren’t emergencies, which wastes $38 billion a year.” You read […]
Need a Breather? 5 Ways to De-Stress at Work
Stress is everywhere, but it doesn't have to control you. Our on-site wellness coach shares five ways you can de-stress at work.
Where does my health insurance premium really go?
Health insurance customers often ask a simple question about the premium they pay every month: Where does my premium dollar go?
BCBSNC Billing Deadline Extended to April 4th for April 1st Coverage
We’ve seen a high volume of Individual Under 65 applications coming in for April coverage and decided to help our new customers by extending the first month’s initial payment due date to April 4. This is for both ON and OFF the Marketplace. Payment must be received by April 4 (not postmarked). Any applications that haven’t […]
Customer Service at BCBSNC: Your Time Really Does Matter to Us
by Tarsha Rowland, Vice President Customer Service Operations at BCBSNC We know it doesn’t always feel as if your time matters to us when you have to spend time on hold. We’re sorry that our customers have had difficulty getting answers from us. It’s frustrating for us to fall short of your expectations. The fact is that implementing […]
Why Talk Cost? The Health Care Cost Conversation in North Carolina
By Brad Wilson, CEO, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina I hope you’ve seen or heard about our Let’s Talk Cost initiative. Sometimes people ask me why we are running commercials and promoting a website dedicated to rising health care costs. I think a better question is: Why didn’t we, and others in the […]
National Nutrition Month: 5 Tips to Curb Stress Eating
by Veronica Verhoff March is National Nutrition Month, and we want to help you get into the nutritional swing of things. But that’s easier said than done. We know what it’s like–stress in our daily lives can make even simple decisions (apple, not candy bar) even harder than they should be. So while stress is […]
Faces of Fearless: Sam Gordon, the Half-Pint Girl Football Player
Sam Gordon is lives fearless every day on the field. This young girl football player challenges our expectations and makes a name for herself.
The Skinny on Narrow Networks
The old marketing phrase “one size fits all” has fallen on hard times. Whether shopping for smartphones or sweaters, consumers want their choices. That’s true even for health insurance. Partly in response to the Affordable Care Act, health insurers are offering consumers more plans to choose from, including plans that keep premiums lower by limiting […]
Shape NC: Hope in the Fight Against Childhood Obesity in North Carolina
When it comes to obesity prevention, it’s never too early to start. Thanks to a recent study from the New England Journal of Medicine, we now know that children who are overweight when they start school are far more likely to be obese by the time they become teenagers. This means that we need to […]
How Do You Walk 10k Steps a Day? One at a Time and All Together
You might have heard of the fitness gadget known as a Fitbit, one of many new tools available to help you keep tabs on your physical activity. And if you haven’t heard, these sorts of devices are basically sophisticated pedometers that can track and measure your movement throughout the day automatically. Some of the models can […]
How “One-Bill” Surgeries are Making a Difference in North Carolina
Insurance billing can be a real pain — we’re the first to admit that. That’s why, with the help of Triangle Orthopaedic Associates (TOA), we’ve expanded our efforts to provide better quality care and simpler billing to our customers who are having hip or knee replacement surgeries. Orthopedics This Week recently outlined the positive results […]
Let’s Talk Cost: The High Cost of Health Care
It’s sometimes shocking to see the price of health care. While rising medical costs are one of those issues that everyone agrees needs fixing, no one seems to agree on just how to do it. BCBSNC first began a conversation about health care costs when we launched the Let’s Talk Cost campaign in 2011. Today […]
Weight Loss in the Real World: Words of Inspiration from our 5 Ton Challenge Weight Warriors
Our Weight Warriors offer you some great inspiration on how to lose weight and share their struggles and hopes.
Beyond the Call: How Jessica Helped a Customer Resolve Bills Exceeding $57K
While there are hundreds of stories we could share, this one really spoke to the heart of what it means to take care of our customers. The video below profiles Jessica, one of our amazing customer service professionals, helping a struggling customer. Like all of us here, Jessica cares deeply about our customers. Here’s how she […]
Hartley’s Live Fearless Story: Camp Victory Junction and an Amazing 5K
By now you may have seen our Live Fearless commercials, but we’ve known from the beginning that Live Fearless isn’t something for us to solely define. North Carolinians have their own Live Fearless stories – how they live with the freedom to dream and believe. They live for the challenge. They live for the accomplishment. […]
BCBSNC Makes Family Coverage Available for All Legally Married Couples & Domestic Partners in ACA Plans
BCBSNC was in the news recently because our ACA plans did not offer family coverage for married same-sex couples or domestic partners. We received some criticism for that decision. We deserved it. We’re committed to serving all North Carolinians, and our decision to delay family coverage for these customers was inconsistent with that commitment. Today, […]
Dr. Louise Gooch’s Live Fearless Story: The Older You Get, the More Daring You Become
We have been hearing some very inspiring Live Fearless stories. You may have seen our Live Fearless commercials, but we knew Live Fearless wasn’t something for us to solely define. North Carolinians have their own Live Fearless stories – how they live with the freedom to dream and believe. They live for the challenge. They live […]
Neighbors Helping Neighbors: BCBSNC Retail Stores in North Carolina
Sometimes it just feels like there’s never enough time in the day. Wake up, go to work, do your job, come home, help the kids with their homework. Before you know it, it’s dark outside and you didn’t get through half of the tasks on the dreaded to-do list. We understand. We’re there with you. […]
Domestic Partners and the Affordable Care Act in North Carolina
The Affordable Care Act has created enrollment issues for thousands of North Carolinians, and recently we’ve received specific questions regarding enrollment for domestic partners. Currently, while some large employers (including ourselves) choose to cover domestic partners, that option isn’t yet available for our small group or individual customers. However, we are implementing changes that will […]
Four Ways to Protect Yourself Against Insurance Fraud
Credit card scams, identity theft and … insurance fraud? Yes, it happens. As you might know, when applying on the the ACA Health Care Exchange for health insurance, applicants are required to provide personal information. Though the Exchange takes a number of security precautions, that doesn’t mean there’s no risk. This is of particular concern […]
5 Tips to Jump Start Your Career in 2014
By now, many of us have vowed to do a number of things in 2014 – some may have resolved to be healthier and save more money. Don’t let your career drop take a backseat
A Special Message From Brad Wilson, CEO of BCBSNC
Problems in Washington have made it hard for us in North Carolina to enroll customers and issue membership cards. Many are frustrated as they wait to speak with someone who can help. This is unacceptable.
Video: Health Care Reform 101 — The Basics
Health care reform is complicated, we understand. That's why we've put together a short, easy-to-understand video series explaining the upcoming changes.
Members: How to Access Your BCBSNC Account Online
This post walks you through the first few important steps of the insurance process, namely accessing ID Cards and insurance information online using the Member Service Portal.
Obesity: New Focus on Prevention and a Live Webcast January 7, 2014
Tune in for a webcast live Jan. 7th beginning at 12:30 p.m., the Institute of Medicine's Roundtable on Obesity Solutions featuring our own Dr. Don Bradley.
Options for Customer Service Due to Large Call Volume
We continue to experience high volume of calls regarding insurance plans and Health Care Reform. Despite increased support staff, hold times continue to be longer than anticipated. Please review this previous blog post for details about making payments and how to use insurance if you don’t have an ID card. There are two options if you need […]
Important Updates for Customers with ACA Plans Starting 1/1/2014
Important updates for customers with ACA plans beginning January 1, 2014.
The 5 Ton Challenge: Our Employees Tipping the Scales in the Right Direction
As a company, we lost a jaw dropping 19,618 pounds--and we're immensely proud of every pound and every step taken.
Not Your Typical Doctor’s Appointment: Carolina Advanced Health
Carolina Advanced Health is changing the model of health care, and bringing patient-centered care to the forefront.
Desk to 5k: Anyone Can Do It
At BCBSNC we’re known for our dedication to improving the health of North Carolinians — and for our commitment to starting “at home.” One way we do that is by helping our employees live healthier lives. Our focus on health and wellness in the workplace has been recognized by the the Triangle Business Journal as […]
11 Ways to Make it a Healthy Holiday Season
The holidays are rife with temptation... and stress! Dr. Brian Caveney has some great tips for avoiding some of the pitfalls of holiday feasting and gathering.
Wondering Where Our Neighbors Are on the North Carolina Health Exchange
If you go to healthcare.gov and search for a health plan in North Carolina — now that it’s working better– what will you find? For starters, you’ll see 26 different plans from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina. You’ll also find plans from Coventry Health Care of the Carolinas — but only if you live in one […]