Published on November 14, 2017

Health insurance option for business that minimizes cost and maximizes convenience

Essentia Health and Medica team up to deliver quality care

Providing health insurance as an employer is a significant part of compensating valued employees. Large and small employers in the communities served by Essentia Health have a new health insurance option to consider that minimizes cost and maximizes convenience for the business and employees.

Essentia Choice Care with Medica is designed to keep premiums lower by keeping people healthier "“ a winning combination for both employers and their employees.

Employees with more specialized or complex medical needs receive added support from a special care management team comprised of a physician, a pharmacist and two registered nurses. The Essentia Health team reaches out to patients who appear to be struggling and offer the support needed to help them achieve and maintain better health.

That support literally has the power to change lives. When a man insured through Choice Care was making numerous emergency room visits, a care team nurse reached out and made an appointment for him to see a primary care physician, says Dr. Michael Van Scoy, Essentia Health's medical director for Choice Care.

With support from his new primary care team, the man opted to treat his depression and quit smoking with the help of medication. He also returned to the clinic to discuss reducing his alcohol consumption.

While the primary goal of this supportive intervention was to improve the man's life, achieving better health ultimately reduces health care costs for him and his employer. As more and more people get the support needed to achieve greater wellness, the health and vitality of our communities improves as well.

"We're here to support people's health, wherever they are in their journeys," says Dr. Van Scoy. "Young working parents may value the convenience of e-visits or urgent care access, while someone with diabetes and a heart condition will benefit from a close relationship with a pharmacist and dietitian, as well as their care team."

The plan makes it easy for patients to get the care they need through:

  • Direct access to specialists, with no referrals required
  • E-visits for conditions ranging from urinary tract infections to diaper rash
  • Same-day access to a care team member to get answers to your questions
  • Enrollment in Essentia MyHealth, a secure online tool that allows patients access to their medical records and email their doctor's office
  • Patient navigators who provide nurse triage and schedule appointments
  • A single phone number for customer service and answers to questions about health plan benefits, billing, care, coverage and appointments
  • A 20% discount on Essentia Health Skin Renewal Clinic services.

With Essentia Health's 15 hospitals and 69 clinics, employees enrolled in this plan have access to care in 50 communities across northern Wisconsin, northern Minnesota and eastern North Dakota. The Essentia network includes more than 1,800 physicians and advanced practitioners.

The Choice Care plan fits well with Medica's commitment to developing health plans that help employers improve the overall well-being of their employees.

"Medica and Essentia Health share a commitment to deliver health care services that put members and patients first," says Scott Reid, a Medica vice president for growth initiatives who helps develop commercial insurance plans. "Our organizations will deliver on that commitment and give members the opportunity to directly benefit from an improved consumer experience at a lower cost."

Essentia Choice Care with Medica is available to large and small employers. If you are interested in learning more, call 800.371.1613.