Take advantage of these 3 unexpected health insurance benefits
Have you ever been pleasantly surprised by an item you’ve purchased? For instance, a car with a digital co-pilot? (Ok, it’s a navigation system but it seems so much cooler!) Or, a phone that talks back to you? (Hey, Siri!)
These may not be the features that first swayed us to make our purchasing decisions – but that doesn’t mean they’re not an important part of our experience using these products.
The same can be true about health insurance. As consumers, we tend to focus on its main feature – getting reimbursed for covered health care expenses. But Blue Cross NC health insurance provides much more than that. And yes, these benefits are game-changers for how you’ll interact with the health care system in the future.
Here are three unexpected health insurance benefits you can access:
1. A nurse or doctor in your pocket.
That’s right, you read that correctly. Having health insurance through Blue Cross NC means that you are literally a phone call or video chat away from a registered health care provider.  Our free 24/7 nurse line,Health Line Blue, connects our members to registered nurses who can answer questions until they can see a doctor. Our nurses can also answer questions about medications and give you information to help you make better health decisions. If your health plan includes Health Line Blue, you can find the phone number on the back of your ID card. You can also call 1-877-477-2424. Go ahead and add this to your contacts. 
If you’d rather speak to a board-certified doctor or pediatrician, gone are the days of making an appointment and sitting in the waiting room. Through our telemedicine benefits (for example, MDLive), you can simply use video chat for evaluations and consultations for common health conditions. Video chats are an excellent option for minor health issues and non-emergencies, available 24/7. 
2. A tour guide through the health care system.
Recently, our member Tom shared that he was able to save over $100,000 in medical bills. But his experience was affected by more than just cost savings. In his blog, he writes, “It wasn’t until I had to utilize the health care system that I saw the true value of health insurance. With Blue Cross NC, I was able to find great therapists and doctors… My health insurance helped me navigate the health care system.”
We want our members to know that they’re not alone. Of course, you can always reach us by calling the number on the back of your insurance card. However, there are online services available to you, too. For example, our Blue Connect portal allows you to do the following right from your phone or desktop:
- View your benefits, deductibles, copayments, coinsurance, and even spending account balance(s).
- Search and browse pending and processed claims.
- Quickly access customer service, through both click-to-call and in-app Secure Messaging.
- Information about your prescription drugs.
Additionally, you can easily search for an in-network doctor online with Find a Doctor . Here, you can search by name, location or specialty. You can even search for the costs of procedures at different facilities and read reviews.
3. A way to get paid to shop – and save on other costs!
YES – We are so determined to help you make cost-effective choices that we will pay you to do so. Here’s how it works. Our tool, SmartShopper, makes it simpler than ever to find lower-cost medical procedures. It lets members price shop for over 90 common procedures like shoulder arthroscopy procedures and mammograms. The best part? They can get paid up to $500 per procedure for making cost-effective choices for the care they already need. 
Other resources include our Find a Drug tool, which gives you information about prescription drugs and pharmacy services.
By using these benefits, you can make the most out of your health insurance.
Additional Tools and Resources
- Blue 365 Deals– Exclusive discounts on the latest fitness gear and health programs.
- Nutritional Counseling– Nutritional counseling with a registered dietitian.
- Wellness Activities– Health-related conversations, seminars, and virtual coaching.
- Healthy Outcomes Program – Track and measure health goals (Sign up in Blue Connect).
- HealthWise Knowledgebase – Our online health encyclopedia lets you look up a wide variety of symptoms, health conditions, medical tests, treatments and goals (Sign up in Blue Connect). [/box]
 Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) may offer additional programs and services for your convenience and is not liable in any way for services received. Decisions regarding your care should be made with the advice of a doctor. Blue Cross NC reserves the right to discontinue or change the programs or services at any time.
 Medicare plans and some employer plans do not include these services.
 Telehealth services are subject to the terms and conditions of the member’s health plan, including benefits, limitations and exclusions. Telehealth services are not a substitute for emergency care.”
MDLIVE is an independent company that is solely responsible for the telehealth services it is providing. MDLIVE does not offer Blue Cross or Blue Shield products or services. Telehealth services are subject to the terms and conditions of the member’s health plan, including benefits, limitations and exclusions. Telehealth services are not a substitute for emergency care.
 Not familiar with what in-network means? Brush up on why it’s important to go in-network when possible.
 SmartShopper, powered by Vitals, is a value-added service offered to ASO groups 52+ only and additional fees may apply. The program is not part of the member’s policy or benefits and may be changed or discontinued at any time. The program is currently not available for Blue Cross NC fully insured lines of business. Vitals does not offer Blue Cross or Blue Shield products. HealthNAV is a service mark of Blue Cross NC. Blue Connect is a service mark of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.