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September 18, 2020

New product offerings for 2021

New 2021 products to feature virtual care visits, first-dollar coverage in a deductible plan, and reward dollars for community volunteering

BUFFALO, N.Y. – Independent Health has long set the standard for introducing new, innovative products and benefits that are first to market locally and nationally. Independent Health was the first plan in the country to offer gym memberships as part of a member’s health insurance, $0 copay for preventive services (which is now required coverage for all plans), and earning reward dollars for eating fresh fruits and vegetables.

Now, Independent Health is again a market trendsetter with new products and benefits for 2021. Its new product, thRed, will include expanded virtual visits, a powerful home-grown mobile app and rewards for various health and well-being efforts, including community volunteering. Other new benefits include a deductible plan with first-dollar coverage with a roll-over option – Activate Silver - and Health Savings Account with no monthly maintenance fee.

“When Independent Health began 40 years ago, we introduced a brand new model of health insurance to Western New York, so it’s fitting that we continue this tradition of innovation by introducing new products like thRed and Activate Silver in our anniversary year,” said Nora McGuire, Independent Health’s chief marketing officer. “Based on surveys and research we’ve conducted with employers and consumers, these are the types of plans and benefits they’re now looking for; they want more convenient, easy access to care and products that give them more control over how they use their benefits.”

Independent Health’s thRed

Independent Health’s thRed was developed around members’ needs for convenient and timely access to care and the recognition that more people are using a virtual care model. thRed will use a specially designed mobile app that offers a virtual patient experience model to connect directly through a chat function with a physician, or interact with a Customer Service Representative at Independent Health.

To encourage and recognize members for engaging in their own health, thRed offers up to $550 in rewards, including:

  • $250 for downloading and registering the app (total for the subscriber and spouse).
  • $300 in rewards for completing various activities focused on improving health and wellness. Activities eligible for reward dollars include an annual wellness visit, flu shot, dental cleaning, exercising regularly, and volunteering in the community.

Independent Health’s thRed will be available to large and small groups whose employees live or work in Erie County and will have a tailored network of high-performing primary care physicians and a full network of pediatricians, OB/GYNs, specialists and hospitals.

Activate Silver

Independent Health’s Activate Silver is a new plan that has a unique component known as first-dollar coverage with a roll-over option. This means that a member’s first $500 worth of health care services will not be subject to the deductible. If a subscriber hasn’t used his or her full $500 in the plan year, the remaining amount will be applied to the next plan year as long as the subscriber remains in Activate.

Elimination of monthly Health Savings Account fees

In 2019 Independent Health announced an exclusive arrangement with Health Equity, one of the nation’s leading Health Savings Account administrators, to offer fully integrated HSAs with our HSA-qualified products. For 2021, we have eliminated the monthly maintenance account fee for Health Equity Health Savings Accounts integrated with our HSA-qualified plans.

“The goal of the fee elimination is to continue to encourage members to take care of their own health, and to help members get to a point of financial wellness, which we all know is extremely important these days,” said McGuire.

“Our entire team is eager to begin this year’s Open Enrollment season,” said McGuire. “We have an impressive lineup of competitive rates, unique product offerings never seen in this market before – all backed by Independent Health’s nationally recognized service and quality.”

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