New, affordable menu of products empowers employees to make health care decisions

(Portland, Ore.) – Small employers are traditionally faced with a difficult choice when providing health coverage for their employees: they can either choose benefits that are affordable, or spend more and offer their employees a choice. In most cases, small employers end up sacrificing choice for cost, leaving their employees feeling frustrated and dissatisfied by the lack of health plan options. Because numerous studies have found that plan choice is one of the best predictors of employee satisfaction with health plans, Regence has introduced Regence Employee Choice—a menu of products that affordably enables small employers to empower their employees to choose among a variety of health plans.

“We know small employers want to provide their employees with a variety of health plans, and many times cost makes it hard for them to do so,” said Don Antonucci, vice president of Sales for Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon. “With Employee Choice, you can be a small company and still offer ‘big company’ benefits.”

Available effective July 1, 2011 for fully insured groups of 2-50 enrolled employees in Oregon and Clark County, Wash., Regence Employee Choice allows employers to choose which of several of Regence’s self-managed Innova® plans and Regence HSA Healthplan 2.0SM consumer directed health plans they wish to offer to their employees. They can choose to offer as many of the available eight plan configurations as they wish.

The program also allows employers to add on a variety of optional benefits, including an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), Chiropractic benefits, and Vision benefits. Employers also have the option of adding a pharmacy and dental plan.

“Not everyone has the same health care needs – a young single person may want to choose different benefits than a family or a person who has specific health conditions to manage,” Antonucci said. “With Employee Choice, employers can offer several benefit and cost options to meet the specific health care needs of their employee base.”

To further engage employees in taking charge of their health, all of the Innova and HSA 2.0 plans have member wellness programs built in. These programs help employees and their families get the support they need to be more involved in their health care, and include:

  • - free, members-only Web site hosts personal health records, treatment and medication information, consumer tools, videos and discussion boards to engage members and reward healthy behaviors
  • CareEnhance® -  a toll-free, 24/7 health information resource
  • Regence Health CoachSM - members receive one-on-one help with their wellness goals from highly trained coaches  
  • Special Beginnings® – maternity management program that includes specialized assessments, personalized tools and materials, and 24/7 nurse advice.
  • Regence Disease Management - certified disease managers teach members to monitor their condition daily and follow their treatment plan for optimal health

For more information on Regence’s self-managed and consumer directed health plans and product features, including Employee Choice, go to

About Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon

Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon is a leading health plan in Oregon, with more than 750,000 members, offering health, life and dental insurance. Regence is the largest health insurer in the Northwest / Intermountain Region, serving nearly 2.5 million members as Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon, Regence BlueShield of Idaho, Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah and Regence BlueShield (selected counties in Washington). Each plan is a nonprofit independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Regence is committed to improving the health of our members and our communities, and to transforming our health care system. For more information, please visit or