Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania customers now can use technology to gain access to important health information.
The Self-Service Mobile App allows downloading through customers' iPhones or iPads, according to Blue Cross officials.
"We are seeing more and more people across all age group that are using Smart Phones," said Jim Michaels, vice president of information technology operations. "So we wanted this as a service for these customers, to provide them with this convenience."
A smart phone displays a sample of a policyholder’s “card.”
The self-service App allows a Blue Cross customer to view benefits, including deductibles and coinsurance preventive, emergency, inpatient and outpatient services, and pharmacy benefits, and claims activity.
It also allows for management of dependent accounts, physician information, and sending of messages.
"It's a very secure platform," said Jack Pollack, manager of Internet services and project manager.
Blue Cross spokesman Anthony Matrisciano said company officials want members to access information more easily.
He noted that increasing numbers of the elderly, which comprise much of the Wilkes-Barre-based insurer's customer base, are embracing technology.
"You would be surprised," he said. "There is a gamut of people who have smart phones out there. Some of these retirees get a lot of use out of them."
Michaels said it's not meant as a cost-savings strategy by the company.
"I'd say no. We are still providing members with information and doing it as conveniently as possible," he said. "It's more of a customer service thing."
Pollack said the service has received a lot of positive feedback from customers since its inception.
Added Michaels: "It's another way for members to access their health information while maintaining security and confidentiality."
To download the App, members can access the Blue Cross website at www.bcnepa.com.
There is no cost.