Improved Medical Transportation Benefits are Here!

  • Group Market News
    Published January 7, 2019

    Starting January 1, 2019 as fully insured and OptiFlex groups renew or start a new medical plan. Available as a buy-up option for self-funded groups.

    We’ve added new features to our Medical Transportation Benefits program to help make healthcare more affordable and accessible for our Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska members in Alaska. This program covers certain travel expenses employees with a Premera medical plan may incur in these instances:

    • Where they are facing a serious medical condition that can’t be treated locally.
    • If they need to travel to the lower 48 to get elective, non-emergent care at lower prices than they’ll find in Alaska. Travel for emergency related conditions are covered according to plan benefits.

    Two types of coverage

    With medical transportation benefits, Premera provides two types of coverage:

    Medical Access Transportation reimburses members for certain travel-related expenses when they need to travel within Alaska or Seattle for medically necessary care that their local doctor can’t provide.

    Elective Procedure Travel program covers qualified travel-related expenses members incur when they need to travel to receive pre-approved, non-emergency, care at an in-network facility located in the lower 48. In addition, this benefit also provides members with the following:

    • Medical travel experts: The medical travel experience with the Elective Procedure Travel program is simplified with Premera’s medical travel experts, who are dedicated to help guide members every step of the way. Members can call Premera at 800-364-2994 for a medical travel expert who can answer questions, make travel arrangements, confirm if travel is approved, and provide personalized information.
    • Member web page: In addition to providing medical travel experts, we’ve improved the overall experience for members. Our new Medical Transportation web page includes easy-to-follow instructions and information about what expenses are covered and reimbursed.

    When it begins

    Starting January 1, our improved medical transportation program is:

    • Included with all new and renewing medical plans for fully insured and OptiFlex groups
    • Available as a buy-up option for self-funded groups

    Why we offer these benefits

    We want to make it easy for our members in Alaska to get quality and affordable care. To help ensure our new medical transportation program did just that, we piloted the program with two self-funded groups in 2018.

    Here’s what one satisfied customer had to say about the medical travel experts, “I love that Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska has done this. It will be helpful to people like me who are used to the process. Also think about what this will do for people who are just diagnosed and have no idea what to do or where to start.”


    For employers: We make it easy for employers to tell their employees about Premera’s medical transportation benefits with ready-to-share employee communications.

    For producers: Use the new Medical Transportation Benefits brochure to talk to your group clients about this unique program.

    For questions, reach out to your Premera sales representative.

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