Blue Cross Blue Shield Deductible Discount Update

I think I completed the onsite screenings and health risk assessment. Am I qualified for the discount?

If you completed the onsite health screenings through Concentra in the spring, then you’ve earned the discount. In late September, you should have received an email from Wellpower letting you know that you’ve qualified for the 2011 discount. If you haven’t received that email and want to check on your status, email us at and we’ll check on it for you.

For those of you who completed the fall screenings, an email confirmation went out to you on December 10, 2010 from Wellpower. Confirmations for those sent by mail recently will be sent next week once we receive verification from Concentra.

Didn’t get a confirmation email, but think you should have? Contact us at

May I still earn the discount for 2011?
Unfortunately the deadline for earning the discount for 2011 is past. We will have screenings again in January/February and you may earn the discount for 2012 by participating. Look for details via an email from Wellpower the week of December 13 and/or a packet from Concentra at your home address just before the holidays.

How do I know the discount was applied?

Here’s the tricky part! The discount really isn’t a “discount” in the traditional sense of the word. In January 2011, SMU will make a payment to BCBSTX equal to 20% of your deductible. So your deductible actually stays the same, but you will have already satisfied 20% of it once the payment is made. Unfortunately this doesn’t trigger an “Explanation of Benefits” or EOB, so you don’t ever see it. We will email you when BCBSTX verifies that the payments have been entered. The only way you can verify the payment is to call the customer support line at 1-877-768-2005 and ask how much of your deductible has been met. Please don’t do this, however, until mid-late January so that BCBSTX has time to apply the payments. Also, please remember that the discount cannot be applied to the high deductible ($2500) plan.

What if I have a procedure done on January 1, 2011, before the payment is applied?

BCBSTX will refund any excess payment toward your deductible. Contact us at if you need help with that issue.

Why does SMU offer this incentive for getting a screening and completing the health risk assessment?
SMU values the health of its employees and wants to support them in their wellness goals. Healthy employees are more productive for the University, and obviously we want the best performance from our staff and faculty. In addition, SMU is striving to manage rising healthcare costs, and by providing these screenings, staff and faculty get an annual check on their vital, health-related measurements. Sometimes these screenings are the first indicator that an employee needs to consult his/her physician to head off a potentially major health issue. Catching potential problems early saves the employee and SMU significant dollars in the long run.

In addition, SMU gets a “group snapshot” that reports on our total population and tells us about our potential areas of risk and where we’ve improved or worsened. This information helps us shape our wellness education and programming for the future. No individual data is ever shared with anyone at SMU.

Look for a future blog entry with highlights on our 2010 population report.

About Lorea Seidel

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