BlueCross and BlueShield of Vermont health care plans offer you a range of benefits that help you focus on your health and well-being, from office and preventive care visits to prescription drugs coverage, we have you covered.
Understanding Your Coverage
Preventive care refers to health care services meant to help you avoid serious medical problems through routine care and screening. Some preventive care services help identify a health issue before it becomes very serious—like your cholesterol test, while other preventive care services help prevent a health issue before it happens—like your annual flu shot.
Are all preventive care services free?
No. Many services that are considered preventive in terms of your personal health do not meet the guidelines for zero-cost preventive care. There are two factors that determine whether a preventive care service is available to you at no cost:
- The recommended guidelines for preventive care services are appropriate for your age. The specific preventive services that are available to you at zero cost will vary throughout your lifetime based on your age.
- The medical information provided on your claim.
Generally speaking, a service usually does not qualify as zero-cost preventive care if a medical problem is known, suspected, or found during the course of care. This means that you may have to pay some of the cost of an otherwise qualified service (such as a copay, coinsurance, or deductible) based on your personal medical situation.
Here are some quick tips to help you and your provider determine when services may not be part of the preventive benefit:
- Medical office visits or physical exams to establish a member with a new provider or to diagnose, treat, or monitor a condition or risk factor.
- Laboratory services that are not specifically defined as preventive care within the federal recommendations for your age.
- Services that are diagnostic or therapeutic in nature.
- Services intended to monitor existing conditions for ongoing maintenance or surveillance of potential complications.
If you receive coverage under a retiree benefits plan, you may not have zero-cost preventive benefits available to you. Check your benefits in the Member Resource Center or contact customer service at (800) 247-2583 for more information.
I received a bill for care that I thought would be free. What happens now?
When it comes to zero-cost care, it is very important to review your benefits coverage in advance. Make sure you understand any requirements or limitations for zero-cost care before your appointment. Once you have received care from a facility or provider, you will be responsible for any copays, coinsurance, or deductibles that apply.
What if I still don’t understand whether a care or service should be free for me?
If you have any questions about your plan coverage, benefits limitations, or the specific preventive care and screening services that are available to you or your family members, contact customer service before your scheduled care appointment. We’re here to help you!
Blue Cross Blue Shield Global Core gives Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont members access to their health care benefits wherever they go - across the country and around the world. Enrollment in the program is automatic and available to all Blue members.
- Domestic Travel
When traveling outside of Vermont you may need access to medical services. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association's National Doctor and Hospital Finder may help you find providers within the United States and its territories.
- International Travel
Traveling outside the United States requires planning, but you can be certain that your health care coverage with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont travels with you through our Blue Cross Blue Shield Global Core program. Visit the Blue Cross Blue Shield Global Core website to help you find international providers, file international claims and more.
Planning Your Trip
Before you travel, contact your Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) company for coverage details. Coverage outside the United States may be different. Be sure to always carry your current member ID card with you when traveling.
- If you need a letter explaining international benefits to obtain a travel visa, login to the Member Resource Center and click on 'Coverage While Traveling’ to obtain proof of insurance.
- If you need inpatient care, call the Blue Cross Blue Shield Global Core Service Center at (800) 810-2583 to arrange direct billing. In most cases, you should not need to pay upfront for inpatient care except for the out-of-pocket expenses (noncovered services, deductible, copayment and coinsurance) you normally pay. The hospital should submit the claim on your behalf. Please note that you may still need prior approval for services. For assistance, contact our customer service team using the number on the back of your ID card.
- For outpatient and doctor care or inpatient care not arranged through the Service Center, you may need to pay upfront. Submit a Blue Cross Blue Shield Global Core International claim form . Please note, it could take up to 30 days for a claim to process and up to 45 days for reimbursement.
Certain services, supplies, and prescription drugs require advance (prior) approval before benefits are provided. This ensures the services are diagnostically appropriate, medically necessary, and cost effective.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont network providers get prior approval for you. If the Vermont network provider fails to get prior approval for services that require it, the provider may not bill you. Work directly with your provider to request the proper prior approval. We must respond to all prior approval requests within two business days, and requests should be submitted before the member's appointment. You and your provider will be notified once the BlueCross team has reviewed the information.
- Types of services, equipment and supplies requiring prior approval
- Prior Approval Form
- Prescription drugs requiring prior approval
If you use an out-of-network provider or an out-of-state provider, it's your responsibility to get prior approval. Failure to get prior approval could lead to denial of benefits. If you can show that the services you received were medically necessary, we will provide benefits.
To check the status of your prior approval, log in to the Member Resource Center.
We understand that there's a lot to know about health insurance - review our tips and resources to help you better understand your health plan so you can take care of yourself and loved ones.
Health and Wellness Programs
Our free wellness programs provide a variety of resources and information to help you improve and maintain your health. Access one-on-one advisors for managing a new health diagnosis or your medications, as well as resources for ongoing health and wellness
Vermont Blue Rx Pharmacy
Vermont Blue Rx is our local solution to answer your pharmacy needs. We offer a local and national network of pharmacies to help you manage your care and reduce prescription drug costs.
Reducing the Likelihood of Re-Admissions After Being Discharged
Before heading home from the hospital or another treatment facility, check out these tips and resources to help you take care of yourself. It is important to ask questions so that you're fully informed and able to take care of yourself. This is crucial in lowering your chances of having to return to the facility after you've been discharged.