Healthcare News & Stories

Blue Cross NC

We resolve to make health care simpler
Health, Blue Cross NC

Using High-Tech & High-Touch To Simplify Healthcare

Perhaps more than any other industry, health care represents the collision of humanity and technology—nothing is more personal than our health care. But for many, determining the best option for care is an overwhelming process. Knowing when to seek care can be just as difficult as combing through the volume of medical information offered online. This can lead to people spending more time, more money and using more services across the health care system than necessary.
At Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC), we are working to provide a more simplified health care experience for our members. By combining technology and human interaction, we’re helping members find the right resources for their care journeys.
High-Tech: Putting the Right Tools in the Hands of Members
HealthPlans of NC

Blue Cross NC

Older couple walking dog
Medicare, Blue Cross NC

What Is the Blue to Blue Rule?

When you choose a Blue Cross NC Medicare plan, you have the freedom to make changes to your plan without underwriting. In addition, members can switch supplement plans at designated times throughout the year. If you live in North Carolina, find out more about how our local Medicare agents can help you get the best Medicare plan for your needs.
HealthPlans of NC

Health Plans of NC staff

We resolve to make health care more affordable.
Health, Blue Cross NC, Individual/Family

Pulling Back The Curtain On Healthcare Costs

While the COVID-19 pandemic may have brought renewed urgency to the issue, the need for more cost transparency has long been part of the conversation about the future of health care. Beneath the partisan wrangling in Washington lies a serious issue. Not only is health care expensive, but it can be difficult for consumers to know just how much care costs until the final bill arrives.Managing medical costs starts with knowing what they are in the first place. At Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, we support the concept of cost transparency. We’re leading the way in making it a reality, not only for our members, but for all North Carolinians.
Cost transparency at your fingertips
It’s hard to believe, but the cost for many common procedures can vary by thousands – in some cases tens of thousands of dollars – within the same city. When consumers don’t have easy access to this information, they are not only in the dark about the total cost of their care, but more importantly how much it will cost them out-of-pocket. A Blue Cross NC analysis showed that some North Carolinians will spend up to 25% of their take-home pay solely on medical expenses. That can be a massive financial burden for families to bear.An early innovator in cost transparency, Blue Cross NC launched a groundbreaking cost comparison tool in 2012 that enables members to compare cost and quality for common procedures before they make important care decisions. Just as consumers can shop for cars or smart phones by doing research before making a purchase, we’re empowering patients to be better informed health care consumers. When patients see that costs for the same surgery in the same area can vary by as much as $19,000, they realize they can choose more affordable options.[1] In 2015, we went a step further and made the tool available to all North Carolinians. Everyone in North Carolina, whether they are a Blue Cross NC member or not, can quickly search for common procedures like MRIs, knee replacements or mammograms and see how the cost compares between nearby providers.
HealthPlans of NC

Blue Cross NC

Person at the doctor
Health, Blue Cross NC

3 Tips For Coping With Chronic Illness

When I was 26, I got sick, and I never got better.
Several years later, I still haven’t gotten used to living with a chronic illness. I’ve never had a moment of radical acceptance. I’ve never woken up and said, “Ah, yes, I get it now! This is all part of a grand plan! It all makes sense!”
What I have done is learned to live a meaningful life within my limitations. It didn’t happen overnight, but it did happen.
HealthPlans of NC

Emilie Poplett via Blue Cross NC

Blue Cross
Health, Blue Cross NC

Blue Cross NC to Allow Early Prescription Refills for Members Across the State Due to Inclement Weather

DURHAM, N.C. – In response to the winter storm affecting North Carolina, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) is allowing early prescription refills to ensure that customers have access to the prescription drugs they need. This action is in effect for the entire state under a state of emergency declared today by Gov. Roy Cooper. Effective immediately, early prescription refills are available to customers in all 100 North Carolina counties until Gov. Cooper ends the state of emergency declaration. This policy also applies to Blue Cross NC members in other states of emergency, outside of North Carolina, connected to this winter storm.
“All North Carolinians should focus on protecting themselves and their families, without added stress,” said Blue Cross NC President and CEO Dr. Tunde Sotunde. “The procedures we have initiated will help our customers get the medications they need during and after the winter storm.”
Members with questions about their coverage may log in to their self-service portal at blueconnectnc.com to send a secure message or contact the customer service number on the back of their Blue Cross NC ID card. As the winter storm impacts the state, Blue Cross NC will continue to update customers through the company’s social media channels.
HealthPlans of NC

Blue Cross NC Media Center

We resolve to make total health a priority
Health, Covid 19, Blue Cross NC

How To Manage OCD & Anxiety During The COVID-19 Outbreak

We’ve all heard people joke about their “OCD tendencies.” You might think of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) as a mild problem, or even a helpful behavior for “neat freaks.” But the truth is that OCD is a serious behavioral health condition. It impacts nearly 1 in 40 (or 2 to 3 million) adults in the United States at some point in their lives. It can significantly impact a person’s relationships with others, their work or school, and their sense of self.
We talked with Dr. Patrick McGrath, Head of Clinical Services at NOCD to learn more about this behavioral health condition during COVID-19.
Q: What impact has COVID-19 had on people with anxiety and OCD?
HealthPlans of NC

Chelsea Moravek and Susan Foosness

We resolve to make health care better.
Health, Blue Cross NC

How Blue Cross NC Is Reshaping Behavioral Healthcare In NC

We’re transforming behavioral health treatment for our members and our state.
Even before the onset of COVID-19, our country was struggling to effectively diagnose and treat behavioral health issues, which include mental health and substance use disorders. Suicide rates were on the rise, drug overdose deaths were dramatically increasing, and life expectancies for people with serious mental illness were lower before the pandemic began to impact our lives and well-being.[1]
Now, as 53% of adults report that their mental health has been negatively affected by worry and stress over the coronavirus, it is more important than ever to find innovative solutions to the behavioral health issues facing our state.[2]
HealthPlans of NC

Via Blue Cross NC By Ish Bhalla

Pivot Health Coach app
Health, Blue Cross NC, Wellness

Blue Cross NC Launches No-Cost Virtual Programs For Members To Quit Smoking & Reverse Type 2 Diabetes

DURHAM, N.C. – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) announced it is teaming up with Carrot Inc. and Virta Health to help address two of the largest ongoing health issues facing Americans today – smoking and type 2 diabetes. These programs will be available at no additional cost to eligible members beginning November 2020. They support Blue Cross NC’s commitment to make health care better, simpler, and more affordable by providing members easy access to care through digital technology.
“We resolve to make whole person care a priority, and that means we have to think beyond treating conditions, and work to prevent and reverse them,” said Von Nguyen, vice president of clinical operations and innovations at Blue Cross NC. “We are excited to team up with Carrot and Virta and bring their innovative, life-changing programs directly to the homes of our members and address some of North Carolina’s most pressing health issues.”
Virta and Carrot’s programs will be available to individual under-65 members and fully insured group members beginning November 2020.
HealthPlans of NC

Blue Cross NC Media Center

Blue Cross Blue Shield NC
Medicare, Blue Cross NC

Blue Cross NC Announces Enhanced Benefits on 2021 Medicare Advantage Plans, Introduces Healthy Blue + Medicare

DURHAM, NC – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) announced that it will again offer $0 premiums for Medicare beneficiaries in its Blue Medicare Advantage service area along with drug coverage and enhanced benefits for its 2021 Medicare Advantage (MA) plans.
For 2021, Blue Cross NC’s MA plans will continue offering low primary care copays, no-cost gym memberships and coverage for hearing exams and hearing aids. Those with prescription drug coverage on their plan will also see the elimination of the deductible on tier 3 drugs and an enhanced formulary.
Also, for 2021, Healthy Blue + Medicare will be available to those who qualify for Medicare and Medicaid benefits in the following 18 counties: Alamance, Buncombe, Cabarrus, Cumberland, Davidson, Davie, Durham, Forsyth, Gaston, Guilford, Harnett, Mecklenburg, Orange, Rowan, Stokes, Surry, Wake and Yadkin.
HealthPlans of NC

Blue Cross NC Media Center

Panthers Logo
Health, Blue Cross NC

Carolina Panthers & Blue Cross NC Work To Improve Food Security In Greater Charlotte Area With Panthers Neighborhood Kitchen Program

Charlotte, NC – The Carolina Panthers and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) are teaming up to deliver meals to underserved areas of Charlotte through the Panthers Neighborhood Kitchen program.
The program will consist of six different meal distributions in some of Charlotte’s highest-need neighborhoods. Each event will distribute 300 individual prepared meals, all of which are chef specialties from three locally-owned, African American catering companies/chefs – Curbeam Cuisines (Chef Jeremy), Jimmy Pearls and Maiya Cooks (Chef Maiya).Meals will be served from a Panthers branded service trailer and will include a Panthers Legend alumni player, who will be available for interviews, and team mascot Sir Purr to provide an additional uplift for meal recipients.
The Panthers are collaborating with community partners The Boys & Girls Club of Greater Charlotte and Charlotte Black Owned for the program.
HealthPlans of NC

Blue Cross NC Media Center

Chef with bags of food
Health, Blue Cross NC

Local Chef Feeds 3,000 People Every Week Amid COVID-19

N’Gai Dickerson has cooked in country clubs, fancy restaurants and swanky hotels. But nothing gives him quite as much pride as hopping in his Mobile Kitchen to cook for his community.
Before the pandemic hit, N’Gai would drive across the North Carolina Triad to teach healthy eating and cooking classes in underserved communities. Working for the American Heart Association, N’Gai’s efforts helped address food insecurity in the region. But when the coronavirus reached North Carolina, he knew he had to change course.
With all his classes cancelled, N’Gai is now preparing 3,000 meals a week for people in need.
HealthPlans of NC

Emilie Poplett

Charlotte Hornets
Health, Blue Cross NC

Hornets & Blue Cross NC Partner To Support Project Bolt With Weekly Meal Donations

The Charlotte Hornets and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) announced they are teaming up to support Project BOLT, a nonprofit whose mission is to enhance the quality of life for marginalized citizens of the Charlotte community. The Hornets and Blue Cross NC are committing to a weekly donation of 300 meals for children in Charlotte over the next six weeks, along with a $10,000 donation to Project BOLT.
The meals, which will come from Uptown Yolk, will be donated on each of the next six Tuesdays, beginning tomorrow.  Hornets Legends Muggsy Bogues and Dell Curry will be on hand to tip off the program at the Little Rock Apartments.  Additional information can be found below.
“We are pleased to team with Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina to support Project BOLT, a local nonprofit doing important work in our community,” said Hornets President & Vice Chairman Fred Whitfield.  “Too many of our neighbors are struggling with food insecurity right now, especially some of our children who will not receive the assistance they normally would in school.  We hope these meals and the additional support from our two organizations will help Project BOLT provide relief to some of those in our community who need it.”
HealthPlans of NC

WCCB by Hanna Oliveto

Smiling couple looking at baby clothes
Health, Blue Cross NC, Individual/Family, Medicare

Life Changes? When & How To Let Your Health Insurer Know

Getting married, moving to a new home, and adopting children are exciting events in your life. When these changes happen the last thing, you may think about is letting your health insurer know.  It’s important to let us know of these exciting events or other unexpected changes so we can make sure you have the right coverage and we’re able to send important communications to you.
Examples of changes you should report
A Change in Name:
HealthPlans of NC

James LaCorte

Waterfall
Health, Wellness, Blue Cross NC

5 Cool Hikes For One Hot North Carolina Summer

“It’s a hundred degrees in the shade.”
It’s an old adage offered not literally, necessarily, but simply to convey that its one hot day. Lately, it’s been less adage than reality.
When the temperature stays this hot for this long, it’s hard to think about getting out for a hike. Unless you know where to go.
HealthPlans of NC

Joe Miller

Child blowing bubbles
Health, Wellness, Blue Cross NC, Mental Health

100 Screen-Free Ways To Keep Kids Active This Summer

Many of us have wonderful memories of growing up and playing outside, carefree all summer. But today’s kids are more likely to be spending time in front of their mobile devices, computer, or TV. This can lead to being sedentary, feeling isolated, and getting bored.
In the United States, the percentage of children and adolescents with obesity has more than tripled since the 1970s (CDC). And with sports and summer camps on hold because of the coronavirus, our kids may be feeling especially stir crazy.
If we can help kids play and be more active, it will benefit them physically and emotionally.
HealthPlans of NC

Michelle Rogers

People with a big pride flag in a street
Health, Wellness, Blue Cross NC

Bringing Your True Self To Work

Bringing your whole and best self to work is an aspirational goal for some. But for others, it’s a daunting challenge. According to a study by the Human Rights Campaign in 2014, 53 percent of the LGBTQ community concealed their sexuality at work and 35 percent lie about their personal lives.

At BCBSNC, we believe diversity in business matters for North Carolina and beyond and we’re committed to providing a welcoming, diverse and inclusive workplace for all employees. We partner with several organizations to support equality and offer an Employee Network (Spectrum) for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees and their allies.
HealthPlans of NC

Lydia Freeman

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