Understanding My Health Plan

  • At Premera, you'll discover smart ways to get the right care when and where you need it. You can also learn all about what we're doing to improve the quality of the care you receive. Plus, you'll find information about the industry leading ways to keep your personal information safe. And there's much more: 

  • Information about health plan programs

  • The goal of the Utilization Management program is to promote the delivery of appropriate, effective and efficient medical care to our members. This includes medical services, medical equipment and pharmacy. If you have questions about the Utilization Management Program, please contact Customer Service.

    Premera and its delegates do not reward or pay our staff based on how members use healthcare services. We do not base their pay in any way on how or if they decide to approve or deny coverage. We do not reward or pay our staff to make decisions that cause members to use fewer healthcare services.

    We do review some healthcare services before members get them. These reviews help us decide if and how to cover those services. When we do a review, we look only at whether services meet medical criteria for your condition and whether your plan covers them.

    “We” includes Premera and any of its delegates, any people or organizations we hire to review requests.

    The Quality Program works to measure evaluate and improve your health and the quality and safety of the care and service you receive as a Premera member. To do this, we work with the people, facilities and community organizations that organize, support and deliver medical and behavioral health care and service. We encourage doctors to practice safe, evidence-based medical and behavioral health care, encourage members to receive the preventive, acute and chronic care they need and work to improve the service we provide as a health plan. We also evaluate complaints, problems getting care and service, member and provider satisfaction and communication to determine if improvement is needed. At Premera, members of our Board of Directors, company leaders, managers and associates contribute to the Quality Program through its committees and activities. Quality measurement and improvement is planned and tracked monthly and the Quality Program is evaluated annually.

    Quality Goals

    • Improve members’ health and wellness
    • Improve service
    • Improve the healthcare system

    Progress We've Made in Improving Care and Health

    • Premera now offers personal health support through our Disease Management Program for members with chronic conditions such as diabetes, coronary artery disease, heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma
    • Our new Care Transition Management Program supports members who are moving from one facility or type of care to another
    • Case managers now focus on assisting members who have complex needs that impact their health and wellness
    • Providers receive alerts about potential conflicts between drugs prescribed and members’ medical conditions
    • Baseline measurements using national standards have been established for important preventive services and evidence-based management of chronic and acute conditions

    Progress We've Made in Improving Service

    • If members disagree with a decision we make and ask us to reconsider, we respond within 30 days
    • We continue to monitor and improve the high accuracy of answers to members’ questions when they contact Customer Service
    • Information in languages other than English is available for any member who requests translation
    • We are rewriting the information we send to members and place on our website to be sure it is easy to understand
    • National measures of member satisfaction show that most members are more satisfied in 2012 than in 2011 with all health care and their personal doctor
    Medical Policy, and Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committees review new drugs and technologies at least three times a year. These committees look at how new drugs and technologies might improve care for our members.
    • Safety Information

    It's important to think about safety when you need health care. Communication with your doctor is perhaps the most important link to better care and health outcomes. These links provide useful tools to help you communicate with your doctor about care and medications.

    • Medication list

    For a Medication List in English and Spanish and a variety of Tips and Tools related to medications, go to: http://www.safemedication.com

    • 10 questions to ask

    Asking questions is important to safe care! The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality provides useful resources including The 10 Questions You Should Know

    • Ask Me 3™

    The Ask Me 3™ is a program designed to promote communication between health care providers and patients in order to improve health outcomes. The program encourages patients to ask and understand the answers to three questions:

    1. What is my main problem?
    2. What do I need to do?
    3. Why is it important for me to do this?

    Learn more at: www.npsf.org/askme3

    • 5 Steps to safer care

    A patient safety fact sheet tells what you can do to ensure safer health care, “Five Steps to Safer Health Care” is available from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

    Premera offers personal health support to you or your family members who have the following chronic health conditions:

    • Diabetes
    • Asthma
    • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
    • Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) and Heart Failure

    This service is voluntary and is offered at no extra cost to you as part of your health plan. We identify members who may be eligible for this program through review of claims and by referrals from doctors and healthcare providers. If you have one of these conditions, you may be automatically enrolled in this service.

    Once enrolled, you'll receive quarterly newsletters with information on how to improve your health. You may also be eligible for a dedicated Personal Health Support Coach. Our health coaches are nurses, dietitians, social workers and counselors who can help you identify the barriers to good health and help you better understand your condition.

    If you wish to discontinue this service, or you would like more information about it, you can call one of these numbers.

    How to Ask for Help

    You may refer yourself or a family member by calling:

    Or email us at PersonalHealthSupportCoach@Premera.com.

    More information on Diabetes

    More information on Asthma

    More information on COPD

    More information on Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) and Heart Failure

    rethink logo

    Caring for a child with autism or another developmental disability can be stressful—and balancing a busy work schedule with treatment options can feel overwhelming. To help address these challenges, Amazon offers a unique benefit service to both help your child reach his or her fullest potential, as well as provide you with clinical and peer support.

    Visit the Rethink site.

    Case Management offers support to help you or a family member with serious health problems. With this service, a nurse or clinical case manager will help you with any concerns you have with your health or healthcare. This service is voluntary and free as part of your health plan.

    How to Make a Referral

    You may refer yourself or an eligible family member for case management services. Call 888-742-1479 or email us at case.management@Premera.com

    Make sure you’re covered

    Don’t be surprised by a bill you weren’t expecting

    Did you know that some services and procedures need to get an OK for coverage from Premera before you get them? This review is called a pre-approval, and it helps you:

    • Find out if you’re covered by your benefits before you have your scheduled procedure
    • Save money and avoid extra costs
    • Get an estimate of your out-of-pocket costs before you get your service
    • Avoid unnecessary services

    Learn more about pre-approvals

  • Your rights and resources

  • These are your rights as a health plan member.

    • You can easily get information about the organization, its services, its practitioners and providers.
    • You can easily get information about your member rights and responsibilities.
    • We will treat you with respect. We will recognize your dignity and right to privacy.
    • You can work with your healthcare provider to decide on treatments you need.
    • You can talk honestly about the treatments that are right for your conditions, regardless of cost or benefit coverage.
    • You can make complaints or appeals about us or the care or service we provide.
    • You can recommend changes to our member rights and responsibilities policy.
    • You can choose your healthcare providers.
    • We will keep things you tell us about your health plan claims and other related information private.
    • Your healthcare and healthcare coverage information will stay protected.
    • You can review and get copies of your personal information on file.
    • You can get screening and stabilization emergency services when and where you need them. You do not need prior authorization, regardless of cost or benefits coverage. This applies if severe pain, injury, or sudden illness convinces you that your health is at great risk.
    • You can continue to get care from your specialty provider for up to 90 days or until you complete your care. This applies if you are getting treatment for a chronic or disabling condition. It applies if you are in your second or third trimester of pregnancy. It applies when you involuntarily change your healthcare plan. It applies if your provider leaves the network for any reason other than cause.

    These are your responsibilities as a health plan member.

    • Give as much of the information as you can that Premera and its providers need in order to provide care.
    • Follow plans and instructions for care that you have agreed to with your providers.
    • Try to understand your health problems.
    • Work as much as possible with your healthcare providers to develop treatment goals you can agree on.
    • Try to keep healthy habits, such as exercising, not smoking, and eating a healthy diet.
    • Disclose relevant information. You must try to communicate clearly what you want and need.
    • Avoid knowingly spreading disease.
    • Understand your healthcare provider’s obligation to provide care equally and efficiently to other patients and the community.
    • Learn about your health plan coverage and options, including all covered benefits, limitations and exclusions, and rules about the use of information.
    • Understand how to appeal coverage decisions.
    • Show respect for other patients, health workers, and health plan employees.
    • Make a good-faith effort to meet financial obligations.
    • Follow the administrative and operational procedures of your health plan and healthcare providers.
    • Report wrongdoing and fraud.
    At Premera, we are committed to maintaining the confidentiality of your medical and financial information. The Notice of Privacy Practices informs you about how we may collect, use and disclose your personal information and your rights regarding that information.

    When you receive care from providers in the network, they will process your claims directly with us, so you don't need to handle any paperwork. However, if you receive care from a non-network provider, you may have to pay the provider for the service and then file a claim with us for reimbursement.

    To file a claim for reimbursement, simply follow these steps:

    • Complete and sign the form.
    • Staple an itemized bill from the provider for the covered service.
    • Mail your claim to the address shown on the form.

    Please see your Benefit Booklet for more details on filing claims.

    Request a Claim Review

    If you disagree with how a claim was paid ─ as described on your Explanation of Benefits (EOB) ─ you can request a review. We must receive your request to review a claim within 180 days after you receive your EOB. You can either call Customer Service or submit a written request. If you suspect that payments were made for services you didn't receive - please call the Anti-Fraud Hotline at 800-848-0244.

    Submit a Written Request

    If you prefer, you can submit a written request so you can make a copy for your records. Along with your written request, include a copy of your EOB to identify details of the disputed claim and any other documents or information that may help resolve your claim to your satisfaction. After we receive your request, we'll send you detailed information about our appeals process, including the timeframes for each step of the process. Send your request to:

    Premera Blue Cross
    Attn: Claims
    P.O. Box 91059
    Seattle, WA 98111-9159

    Questions? Concerns?

    Please contact Customer Service.

    Please note: Some groups may have a different contact phone number. Please confirm your contact number on the back of your ID card before calling. For more detailed information about your benefits, see your contract or Contact Us.

    To get language assistance, contact Customer Service.
    Our TDD/TTY number for deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired members is 711.

    You can make complaints about:

    • The care or service we provide
    • The quality or availability of a healthcare service
    • The care or service you get from any providers in our network.

    You also have the right to appeal any action we take or decision we make about your coverage or services.

    Always carry your Premera member ID card and show it to physicians, other providers and pharmacists whenever you need care or prescriptions. Learn what each item on your ID card means.