ALBANY, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--As part of its commitment to offering members a digital-first healthcare experience – where, when, and how they want it, Empire BlueCross BlueShield (Empire) introduced the enhanced Empire Skill to members of its commercial Medical and Dental health plans, allowing them to order prescription refills and take other health plan actions. Through an Alexa-enabled device, such as an Amazon Echo, or the Alexa app on a phone, the Empire Skill is a 24/7, voice-activated way for members to also quickly access some of their health and dental plan benefit information.
“Giving our members innovative, data-driven, and personalized products and services that enhance and simplify their healthcare experience is an important step if fulfilling our mission to materially and measurably improving the health of all New Yorkers,” said Alan Murray, President of Empire BlueCross BlueShield. “We know that consumer expectations have evolved and people today expect a more customized and seamless experience. The introduction of the enhanced Anthem Skill is the latest example of our digital-first approach to healthcare, and helps us better support the people we serve.”
Empire is one of the first health plans to offer access to specific health plan information through an Empire Skill. After linking their account, customers can ask Alexa questions about some of their Empire Medical and Dental health plan benefits, such as:
- Health savings account (HSA) or health reimbursement account (HRA) balance
- Progress in meeting the plan’s deductible
- Plan’s out-of-pocket maximum
- Order identification card
- Prescription refill, renew and check order status
- Schedule, reschedule, and cancel a call back from member services
Members can also ask the Empire Skill about more than 200 healthcare terms.
Members of Empire’s commercial Medical and Dental health insurance plans who want to use the Anthem Skill for Alexa will have to link the Empire Skill to their Empire account, using the same ID and password they use to log into empireblue.com or the Empire mobile app. The information given through the Empire Skill is pulled from the same source as the member portal so there will not be a difference in the information available through these tools.
Empire Skill can only access information from a member’s current Empire-affiliated commercial health plan. Members will not be able to access information from other/previous health plans. The interactions with the Anthem Skill comply with federal HIPAA privacy rules, and any information stored is done so in an accumulated, de-identified manner.
Empire will continue to enhance the Empire Skill experience so that it offers information that will simplify healthcare and help consumers lead healthier lives. Empire anticipates making health plan information available for its Vision plan later this year along with other updates. The company will continue to further enhance the Anthem Skill through consumer feedback to determine what types of information individuals would find useful in navigating their healthcare.
About Empire BlueCross BlueShield
Empire BlueCross (Empire) is the trade name of Empire HealthChoice Assurance, Inc. and Empire BlueCross HMO is the trade name of Empire HealthChoice HMO, Inc. independent licensees of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, serving residents and businesses in the 28 eastern and southeastern counties of New York State. Additional information about Empire is available at www.empireblue.com. Also, follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/EmpireBCBS and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/EmpireBlueCrossBlueShield.