Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan introduces interactive navigation tool to help individuals and families find health care coverage options

AskBlue, Your personal guide to healthcare coverage options™, supports those in transition from group coverage to individual coverage

August 20, 2009

DETROIT - Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan today announced the launch of AskBlue™, a Web-based navigation tool that educates consumers about their MyBlue℠ individual health care options. This interactive tool helps individuals navigate through a wide range of health care options. AskBlue is designed for individuals and their family members under age 65 who are uninsured, unemployed, have lost their employer-based coverage or are not eligible for group benefits.

BCBSM is one of 18 Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies across the nation to offer AskBlue.

"We understand the challenges of navigating through the transition to individual health coverage," said Mark Owen, BCBSM vice president of Federal and Individual Business. "By offering consumers an easy-to-use and straightforward Web experience, we're able to provide personalized information and recommendations on health care coverage."

AskBlue provides consumers with a personalized summary of their available health care coverage options from the Blues including COBRA, Flexible Blue II℠, Individual Care Blue Plus℠, OneBlue℠ and Young Adult Blue℠. By providing a ZIP code, consumers get information about products that fit their needs through an anonymous and confidential experience. For consumers who are not familiar with the various coverage types and benefits, AskBlue will analyze and present coverage options in a clear and concise format. The process takes only minutes. Once complete, visitors have the option of contacting the Blues for a premium quote or simply leaving the online experience with a printout of personalized options that have been tailored to their needs. If a consumer is interested in a MyBlue health care plan, enrolling is easy. They have the option to enroll online, call telesales or contact a local Blues-contracted agent.

During an early launch of AskBlue, BCBSM found overwhelming support for the program. A majority of consumers who visited AskBlue stayed on and obtained personalized health care coverage information. Consumers said the tool met their expectations for ease of access, knowledgeable solutions and actionable results.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit organization, provides and administers health benefits to 4.7 million members residing in Michigan, in addition to members of Michigan-headquartered groups who reside outside the state. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network are nonprofit corporations and independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more company information, visit bcbsm.com.

AskBlue provides a general overview of certain insurance products based on information the user provides during the session. This overview is not an application for insurance. It is not an offer to provide or guarantee insurance coverage, or legal or financial advice. To find out about rates and terms for these and other insurance products, and how to apply for coverage, visit bcbsm.com/myblue.

AskBlue was developed in collaboration with Jellyvision Lab, Inc., a provider of interactive conversation applications in the U.S.