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How to Use Your Health Insurance

These tips and resources will help you get the most from your BCBSWY plan. You can find all the details about your insurance coverage in the Benefit Document.

Use your preventive care benefits

Your plan includes preventive care benefits that may include screenings, well-patient care and immunizations. Typically, when you receive those services through a network provider, you won't have to pay any out of pocket costs.

Depending on your age, you might have access to:

  • Free blood pressure, diabetes and cholesterol tests
  • Mammograms, colonoscopies, pap smears and other cancer screenings
  • Flu and pneumonia shots
  • Well-child visits from newborn to age 21

Use generic drugs

Ask your physician to write prescriptions permitting substitution of a generic drug, if available. Taking generic drugs is one of the most important things you can do to control costs. Not only do generics save you money at the pharmacy (sometimes more than 90%), but they help hold down your insurance premiums long-term as well.

Consult the preferred drug list

If a brand is required, physicians are encouraged to consider medications listed in the Preferred Drug List (PDL). The PDL, or Formulary, represents recommendations of our Pharmacy and Therapeutics (P&T) Committee. The P&T Committee includes practicing physicians and pharmacists dedicated to identifying high-quality, cost-effective drug therapy. All medications are reviewed and selected after consideration of safety, effectiveness, uniqueness and cost. The Preferred Drug List is updated quarterly and can be located at: Then click "Preferred Drug List (Formulary)".

Stay in network

Use a doctor who has a participation agreement with BCBSWY. You'll pay less for the service and it helps keep insurance premiums down. Staying in network shouldn't be difficult. BCBSWY has the largest network in Wyoming; more than 90% of the state's providers participate with BCBSWY.

Save the emergency department for emergencies

When your condition is not a true emergency, use walk-in clinics or schedule same-day appointments. Use of the ED is more expensive when you're treated there, plus overuse of ED services contributes to higher healthcare costs. More »

When choosing insurance, consider all your costs

The lowest insurance premium is often not the lowest overall cost when you consider all your out-of-pocket expenses. Weigh your total cost of health insurance with your BCBSWY representative.

Set money aside for your deductible

If your insurance deductible is $1,000, that means you must pay the first $1,000 out-of-pocket before your plan pays for any covered services.

Check on tax deductions

Check with your tax preparer about tax deductions for healthcare expenses that might apply to you.

Take advantage of QualityBlue

QualityBlue has services and programs for you – to help you make the best healthcare decisions and get the best care.

We help you stay Informed & Connected We help you get Quality Care
  • Review Your Doctor
  • Cost Calculators
  • Online Member Services
  • National Doctor & Hospital Finder
  • Mobile App
  • Hospital Quality Ratings
  • Health Assessment
  • MediQHome
  • Blue Distinction®
  • Blue Physician Recognition

More »

Be an informed buyer

Consume healthcare as thoughtfully as you would any other large purchase.

  • Be aware of the true cost of medical care
  • Respectfully question tests and procedures-ask what they are for, what you'll learn or if there is an alternative; get a second opinion when appropriate

Most of us don't really know the true cost of the care we receive. That's because we do not directly pay the full bill, but rather just our portion (copayment, deductible, coinsurance), which is usually just a percentage of the actual cost. Consequently, we're sometimes not as careful about how the money is spent.

Be on the lookout for fraud or abuse

A Blue Plan member recently reported buying a wheelchair and told us the store listed two prices: $2,000 if paying out of pocket; $4,000 if going through insurance.

Marking up an item simply because insurance will pay is fraud and it needs to be addressed. Everybody pays the price through increased premiums. We need to work together to stop it, so please report any suspicious activity to Member Services at 800-442-2376.

The U.S. Healthcare Benchmarks, Trends and Observations report says if Americans could cut out healthcare fraud and abuse, we would save the U.S. healthcare system between $100 billion and $175 billion.1

1 Source: Robert Kelley, Vice President, Healthcare Analytics, Thomson Reuters, 'Where Can $700 Billion in Waste Be Cut Annually From the U.S. Healthcare.

Learn more about healthcare costs and savings at the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association site.

Life changing events

If you have an Individual or Family plan, a change in your life could make a difference to the healthcare coverage you have and may change your eligibility for cost assistance from the federal government. A life event can include gaining a new dependent as a result of getting married or having a baby, or it can mean losing other health coverage due to divorce or death of a spouse. Your benefit document provides specific details about what is considered a life event. If you have a life changing event, be sure to contact your sales representative for assistance. If you have healthcare coverage through your work, be sure to contact your employer with information about your life changing event.

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