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Springfield Clinic offers new health care plan

Springfield Clinic

For the first time, Springfield Clinic is offering its own health plan for employers with 10 or more workers. It will give access to the clinic’s providers and to a nationwide network through insurer HealthLink.

“Too many patients have had trusted relationships with their Springfield Clinic doctors interrupted over the past year. This plan removes the choice between driving out of the local area to find an available physician or putting off important health care decisions,” said Springfield Clinic CEO Ray Williams.

The option follows the ending of a relationship between Springfield Clinic and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, the state’s largest insurer. That left the clinic's providers out of network. Those covered by Blue Cross and Blue Shield had to scramble to find specialists and certain services, often out of town and at higher costs. There is still no agreement between the two sides.

"We'd prefer to be in-network with Blue Cross Blue Shield, but we don't see that changing for the foreseeable future," said Zach Kerker, Springfield Clinic's Vice-President of Brand Experience and Advocacy. "We heard from so many small businesses that wanted to find a way to get access to their physicians."

Kerker said that that's why the plan allows for relatively small employers to participate. Normally, he said these types of plans require 50 or more employees.

The clinic said the new plan, called Advantage, will offer the following benefits:

* Reduced or waived co-pays/deductibles when using Springfield Clinic providers
* Offering unique member personal health surveys with biometric screening
* Employee engagement through value-based plan design and wellness programs
* Concierge-based customer service support including finding providers and scheduling appointments
* Fully transparent pharmaceutical pricing

“Many traditional health insurance plans limit your ability to make important health care decisions. For example, when you need a colonoscopy, our team will work with you to understand where to get that procedure quickly, safely and in the most cost-effective way,” said Darren Reynolds, CEO of central Illinois-based plan administrator Consociate Health. “Many procedures cost far less in an outpatient surgery center than at a hospital, and patients should know that in advance.”

Those interested can contact Springfield Clinic through the Advantage website to get a quote.

"It has been a difficult period in the community," Kerker said. "This is a way to provide some longer term stability."

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