FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS...
Appointments are recommended to keep you waiting time short. Call ahead and the Health Center staff will work-in patients with urgent needs.
No, there is no charge for an office and all Health Center services are provided at no cost to participating employees and dependents.
Although the short answer is yes, that defeats the purpose of the Health Center, which is to reduce physician office visit costs by providing less expensive access to a higher level of care that you are currently receiving. The copay for primary care visits outside the Health Center is $50.
No, and the deductible is less than the current HMO, POS, and PPO deductibles. More significantly, the free services provided at the Health Center will reduce the number of services that are even subject to the deductible.
Yes, if you enroll in the Blue Cross Health Center plan your dependents are covered on your CCG health plan.
Yes, the minimum age is 3 for "sick" visits. Well baby care, including vaccinations may be obtained from pediatricians or the health department. The Health Center will arrange a referral at your request.
Yes, that is your choice entirely and a Health Center referral is not required.
Yes, annual exam is covered the same as with your current health plan and no referral is required. A Health Center referral for other gynecological services will reduce your copay.
You must be seen by the Health Center Physician. Call for an appointment and in most cases the Center Physician can prescribe that medication for you. The Health Center is not a pharmacy and requires a therapeutic relationship with the Center Provider to obtain medications.
The Health Center Physician is qualified to handle a broad spectrum of primary care services including preventive care, disease management and urgent care. If in the physician's expert medical opinion, he is able to meet your healthcare needs he will and if not he will make the appropriate referral for you.
Yes, this too is a free service provided by the Health Center. The Health Center will also provide a complete array of health risk assessment and screening procedures.
Yes, because this is a free service, it is an excellent way for you to save money on office visit copays and testing fees.
Yes, if your child is a covered dependent on your Blue Cross Health Center plan.
The Blue Cross Health Center Plan is actually much better than the current HMO that only provided emergency care outside of Georgia and is a less costly option to the current POS and PPO plans with a Health Center referral.
Yes, this will not change.
Yes, at just $20, the specialist copay is $10 less than the specialist copay for the existing health plans. With a Health Center referral, you will save on each specialist visit and in most cases will require fewer visits because you may receive routine monitoring and testing free at the Health Center.
No, but it will save you money on the specialist copay.
You may go to an urgent care center as you do now, except the copay is only $20 when the Health Center is closed, $10 less than the current plans.
Yes, this benefit is being offered to pre-65 retires immediately but because of complex Medicare mid-year change rules, Medicare eligible retires may start participating effective January 1, 2014. Health Center participants that become Medicare eligible later this year may continue using the Health Center for the balance of 2013 but then must enroll in the appropriate plan to retain Health Center access.
Insurance premiums are directly linked to health care claims costs. We believe that the Health Center can help reduce future claim costs by providing an exceptional level of preventive and interventional health care, reducing the need for emergency room visits and other high cost health care. That said, reducing health care costs requires a joint effort from all of us; if we are successful then costs will go down and savings will be shared in the form of health care premiums reductions.
Initially the Health Center premium is the same as the current HMO premium and less costly than the current POS and PPO plans. For the future we believe the Health Center plan will provide the best benefits and lowest premium cost of all plans offered.
We pay HMO primary care providers over $50,000 in fees every month to provide care to patients enrolled in that plan, regardless of whether the employee or covered dependents go to the doctors that month. In return, the doctor provides certain additional services at no cost and others at a discount. Because many of these services will be provided by the Health Center, we will use the fee savings to offer some of the cost of providing those services. The Health Center POS plan is designed to provide the same level of benefit as the HMO plan but at a lower cost to both the employee and the City.
Although most employees and dependents will not need an immediate appointment, the enrollment phase in is intended to prevent excessive wait time for appointments and to assure the ability of the Health Center to respond to the urgent care needs of the new members.
The Health Center guarantee is that you may return to your current health plan at anytime and for any reason within the first year that you are in the Health Center plan and during open enrollment every year thereafter. Changing to the Health Center plan does not terminate your relationship with your current provider. However, each provider is independent and has their own rules, with some limiting the number of patients they will accept under the HMO plan. Because of these issues we cannot guarantee that you will be able to return to your current provider. If this is important to you, please discuss with your provider prior to making the change.
The appointment call center will start scheduling appointments two to three weeks prior to the Health Center opening date. The contact information will be included in your new member materials.
This will not happen because of the size of the Health Center medical staff will be adjusted to accommodate the actual number of patients being served. In fact, our goal is for participation to grow to the point we can justify operating a second location.
Employees can sign up during Open Enrollment.