Florida Blue Is Innovating To Meet Businesses’ Health Care Needs


Employers are seeking innovative ways to control health insurance costs while improving care for employees.

“The health care industry is changing at a rapid pace,” said Nicole Dorsett, senior director of new product development and strategy for Florida Blue, Florida’s local Blue Cross and Blue Shield health plan. “Innovation is getting ahead of and seizing the opportunities out of that change.”

Deloitte cites health care innovations like convenient care clinics and centers, telehealth and social media as ways to provide more value, improve patient experiences and achieve better overall outcomes for less expense, which is what businesses want. Employers say affordable and sustainable costs for the organization and for its employees are their top priorities, along with enhancing employee well-being, according to a recently released employer health care survey by Willis Towers Watson.

Innovation Adds Value and Improves Patient Experiences

“Businesses are looking for more than the standard benefits package,” Dorsett said. “They are looking to add value for employees while keeping costs down.”

Florida Blue helps employers offer personalized wellness programs that increase employees’ engagement with their benefits, thereby improving their productivity, for example. Virtual care also is increasingly popular, as evidenced by Florida Blue adding behavioral health visits for 2022 in addition to the general medicine and dermatology services already offered.

Florida Blue also launched a new rewards program in 2022 that helps members as they’re making decisions around their health care needs. “We’ve developed digital solutions to support member decision-making and help keep their out-of-pocket costs affordable,” Dorsett explained. “In some cases, members can earn a reward in the form of a gift card that can be used toward future medical expenses.”

Insurers such as Florida Blue provide members with digital tools to find locations that offer quality care at affordable costs. In addition, employees can connect to health care providers digitally, thus allowing them to more easily get assistance managing chronic conditions like diabetes by communicating with a nurse via text messaging.

“Historically, if we wanted to engage a member in a care program, it would often take multiple attempts. It’s great now we have tools that allow us to meet members where they are and communicate with them on their terms.” Dorsett said.

And a key benefit of innovative solutions like this is that it not only helps members manage their health but also helps them save time. “Innovating provides new tools and resources that keep employees healthy and productive,” Dorsett said.

Insurers Should Focus on Businesses’ Needs

Businesses should ask their insurers about innovative products and solutions that may meet their needs, Dorsett said. “They should be partnering with you to understand your needs, offering options and helping you design benefits around the needs of the business.”

For example, if Florida Blue partners with an employer to offer a wellness program, they decide together what will meet employees’ needs, like biometric screenings, vaccination clinics or health coaching, Dorsett said. “We’re very local and are constantly talking to people, so we get that proactive feedback loop. We hear the needs of that business or other businesses in the market, so we can create solutions.”

  • Florida Blue focuses on meeting businesses’ needs through solutions such as:
  • SimplyBlue and Truli for Health: New local health maintenance organization plans that provide employers with lower-cost, high-quality health care options for their employees.
  • meQuilibrium: A self-guided personalized digital mental well-being solution designed to help employees manage stress and build resiliency.
  • BetterYou Workplace Wellness and Rewards: Programs that empower employees to take better care of themselves by creating a personalized health journey where they are rewarded for participating in healthy habits.
  • BlueForMe: A connection that gives employees support from a care management team made up of nurses and health workers through the convenience of an app.
  • Blue365: Discounted wellness products and services for employees, like fitness devices, weight loss and nutrition programs and more.

“Florida Blue continuously monitors business needs to create new solutions,” Dorsett said. It also has implemented processes to act upon feedback from businesses. “Innovating is part of our DNA,” Dorsett said.

“Florida Blue will continue to invest in virtual care and digital tools that make care more accessible and affordable,” Dorsett said. “We’re making a lot of investments now that will allow us to ideate and innovate as needs arise for the future.”

Employers will continue to look for such innovations as well, as they seek to control costs while improving care for their employees in the coming year and beyond.

Learn more about Florida Blue. Visit: floridablue.com.

Florida Blue, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, has been providing health insurance to Florida residents for 75+ years. Driven by its mission of helping people and communities achieve better health, the company serves more than 6 million health care members across the state.