Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Blue Cross & Blue Shield Doing it Right!

It is another WOWIE Wednesday at the ILSHRM blog and time to promote our partnership with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois and wellness at work programs.  Today I am writing either a shameless plug or a post that is simply the unfettered truth, depending upon your perspective.

We have received a lot of applications for the 2011 WOWIE Awards and we are extending the deadline to apply to this Friday, June 10th.  Email your application to Chris Martin at cmartin331@comcast.net.

BCBSIL has sponsored the WOWIE program for three years now for the Illinois State Council of SHRM.  In that time, the two organizations have recognized employers who really get it and are putting a huge push behind their wellness programs.  Recently it came to my attention, in my day-to-day activities of doing my job, how really committed BCBSIL is to the wellness concept.

Now this  is where it starts to get murky.  At my employer,  we are a Blue Cross and Blue Shield client and have been so for more than 20 years.  You don’t have to read too much into that to know that we think they do a good job (with an occasional outrageous rate increase now and then – sorry!). In fairness they were market-based increases.  Ok, back the wellness aspect of this post.  Either I have been remiss as the benefits administrator (most likely) or Blue Cross has not wanted to let me know about their on-line wellness tools and incentives for employees and companies. 

So I was offered up some training in how to fully utilize BCBSIL’s employer and employee web sites.  I took them up on the offer. After looking at the employer side we then looked at the employee portion.  Now I have been here numerous times before but mostly to check on EOBs or to see how much money I had left in my HSA account.   After looking at the most of the other features my on-line tour guide asks if I want to look at the wellness stuff.  We do so and oh my goodness I was truly amazed at all of what is going on there.

Since they have all of my health records, they can bring them together in one place and give me a total picture of my overall wellness.  In presenting this, they point out where the risks are at and where I can make improvements.   There is a place to research aches and pains. If you feel you need it, you can have an on-line consultation with an RN.  In another area I can log my weight, my exercise routines and my diet.   BCBSIL then awards you “Blue Points” (like frequent flyer miles) for doing these activities.  If you get enough Blue Points, you can get some really cool stuff.  The site also offers tips and support to quit smoking. There are recipes too!
A screen shot from the wellness program.

So speaking as one of their insured, BCBSIL has done a bang-up job on their web-site trying to communicate to me how to get healthy and what I need to do to get healthy.  If I choose to do nothing – my bad; but know that BCBSIL has done just about everything they can to try and make me healthy  - short of coming over to my house and taking my plate full of food away from me.

Kudos to my friends at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, and thank you for your support of wellness.

- Dave Ryan Director of Social Media ISC SHRM

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