Wednesday, January 10, 2018

It’s Officially 2018 and We’re on to Liberty…Membership Cards and an Initial Trip to the Pharmacy

When the clock struck midnight on the east coast our traditional health insurance officially expired and our stint as Liberty Healthshare members began. As our family traveled back from our holiday destination my wife and I did have a moment where this sunk in. It wasn't a bad feeling, it was just an acknowledgment that we’re under a new system and prepare for the change. We are actually excited about seeing how things work.

As we turned to the new year I was interested in receiving our Liberty Healthshare member cards. Similar to traditional insurance, these are the cards Liberty suggests you provide to your healthcare provider instructing them where to send bills and coordinate payment. In my conversations with my primary healthcare provider, it sounds as if they won’t care if I have this card or not – they don’t view Liberty as an insurer so they’ll just send me the bill. Nonetheless, I’m interested in trying it out and would like to receive the card. If I don’t receive the card by the end of next week I’ll give Liberty a call. 

On another note, we did receive membership cards for the SavNet program. The SavNet program provides discounts on prescription drugs and other healthcare services including dental, hearing, vision and chiropractic services. While this is not insurance, it does provide discounts when you present the cards at eligible providers. We’ve found most pharmacies in our area work with SavNet. Membership in SavNet is included in the $449 family monthly sharing amount.

There are two cards that Liberty sends to you – the Pharmacy Program and the Health Savings Program. To be clear, the Health Savings Program is not equivalent to the Health Savings Account. It is what is presented at participating dental, vision, hearing and chiropractic providers.

Within the last few days, my wife had to pick up a routine prescription at our local drugstore. I had not informed her we received the SavNet card yet so she paid for the prescription as a self-pay customer. She received a self-pay discount at the pharmacy and her cost, for this routine prescription, was approximately $15. We had done research prior to joining Liberty to understand what the unsubsidized cost would be for this prescription and this experience was in line with our expectations. It will be interesting to see what the cost is with the SavNet card. My wife said our cost for the prescription under our past plan was approximately $7-8.

We’ll let you know when we receive our Liberty Healthshare member card and if it means anything to our providers. Stay tuned.