Be a Wise Healthcare Consumer

Need Treatment and Want to Save Money? The Benefits Value Advisor Can Help

Image Description Here Beginning September 1, 2014, all UT SELECT Medical plan participants will have access to the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) Benefits Value Advisor (BVA), to help you maximize your benefit plan. Through the BVA program, when you are in need of healthcare services, you will have the opportunity to speak with a specially-trained advisor about your options for receiving care. These advisors will help you and your covered family members better understand how your benefits work, provide you with a cost estimate for specific health care services or procedures, assist you with pre-certification of your benefits, and even schedule appointments with your selected provider for your upcoming services or procedure.

How can a Benefits Value Advisor save you $100 and lower costs to the UT SELECT Medical Plan?
As mentioned in this month’s article about the UT SELECT Medical Plan Design Changes for 2014-2015, for early retirees who are not yet eligible for Medicare there will be a new $100 copay for MRI and CT scans (for non-emergencies), effective September 1, 2014. The $100 copay does not apply to a retiree or their spouse if the individual is eligible for Medicare.

You can save the $100 copay for MRIs and CT scans by speaking with a Benefits Value Advisor before getting an MRI or CT scan to learn about your benefits, review the difference in estimated costs of several different in-network providers. If you choose to have the BVA customer service representative do so, they can schedule your appointment for you. You will save money, and by selecting a provider who delivers the same treatment at a lower cost, you will be doing your part to save the UT SELECT Medical plan money. Saving the plan money will help keep the UT SELECT plan financially healthy which keeps your cost-sharing (premiums, deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments) as low as possible going forward.

How much do costs really vary for the same procedure? Here is one example of potential costs for a Knee MRI:*

  Austin San Antonio Houston Dallas
High Cost $4,266 $3,132 $3,090 $2,325
Low Cost $415 $401 $399 $366

In addition to MRI and CT scans, what other services should I call BVA about?

BVA Customer Service representatives are available during regular BCBSTX customer service hours to help you and your family members plan for health care services such as:

  • CAT or CT scans
  • MRIs
  • Endoscopy procedures
  • Colonoscopy procedures
  • Back or spinal surgery 
  • Knee surgery
  • Shoulder surgery
  • Hip replacement or joint replacement surgery
  • Bariatric surgery

How can I talk to a Benefits Value Advisor?

It's easy! Just call the Customer Service number on the back of your BCBSTX ID card and ask to speak to a Benefits Value Advisor or BVA.

*Rate estimates provided by BCBSTX.