Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska (BCBSNE) is celebrating 80 years of business in 2019. For more than 70 of those years, the company has provided health insurance to City of Hastings employees.

BCBSNE appreciates and values its relationship with the City of Hastings, said Darcy Swope, BCBSNE account executive.

“Our collaboration and partnership has preserved quality and affordable health benefits that empower City of Hastings employees to make better health care choices,” Swope said.

Better health care choices include shopping around for services. Members can use BCBSNE’s cost estimator to see what medical services, such as an MRI, office visit, surgery and more will cost.

Kim Jacobitz, city clerk at the City of Hastings, used the cost estimator before scheduling a colonoscopy to compare rates at two different locations.

“The cost difference was significant, so I made my colonoscopy appointment with Hastings Surgical Center,” Jacobitz said. “This procedure was preventative, so it did not cost me anything personally, but it saved the City of Hastings because it directly impacts our self-insured health account balance.”

In a self-insured health plan, an employer funds its own claims and BCBSNE administers the claims on the employer’s behalf. Employees pay a premium for themselves and their dependents, but the employer coves most of the premium.

Jacobitz said the City of Hastings encourages employees to shop around for services using the cost estimator.

“We have explained that when we keep costs down for our self-insured health plan, we have better control over future premiums and plan design,” Jacobitz said.

BCBSNE continues to create tools and resources to make health care more understandable and affordable, but the company never forgets its roots. Look back on BCBSNE’s 80 years of history by viewing the timeline here.

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