Help lower overall costs with SmartShopper®
When employees make better healthcare choices, everyone wins
Prices for the same in-network, quality medical test or procedure can vary dramatically. When your employees choose higher-cost providers, it can have a real impact on your overall healthcare expense.
With SmartShopper, your employees can shop online or over the phone for many routine medical tests and services. They can select the most cost-effective location of their choice and earn a cash reward based on the overall savings. SmartShopper is included at no additional cost with all fully insured health plans (except HSA-qualified plans) and is available for self-insured businesses.
With SmartShopper, your employees become more savvy healthcare consumers, and that could help lower your overall healthcare costs over time*.
With SmartShopper, your employees can:
- Shop for mammograms, ultrasounds, MRIs, and other common tests and procedures
- Compare costs nationwide for added flexibility
- Shop online or through the SmartShopper Personal Assistant Team
- Receive a cash reward—with no paperwork and no hassle
See how SmartShopper works
Visit the BCBSRI Employer Toolkit for ready-to-use SmartShopper emails and other resources to share with your employees.
Answers to common questions
What is SmartShopper?
SmartShopper® is a healthcare shopping and savings program that helps you save money and earn cash rewards by “shopping around" for the most cost-effective, quality providers of many common medical services. Whether you are at home or work, SmartShopper can help you find the care you need in minutes. It’s included with all Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI) fully insured health plans—except HSA-qualified plans—at no additional cost to you.
How do I get started with SmartShopper?
Call the SmartShopper Personal Assistant Team at 866-285-7162 to register your account and ensure you receive important email updates regarding SmartShopper services.
How does SmartShopper work?
- First, you’ll need to register your account, as explained in the previous question.
- Then, when your provider recommends a medical test or procedure, log in to your myBCBSRI account, click on SmartShopper, and follow the prompts. You can also call the SmartShopper Personal Assistant Team to get help finding a quality, cost-effective location.
- Enter the procedure you’re shopping for and up to three lower-cost options available in your area will show up in the results.
- Schedule your procedure at the location of your choice. If you select one of the SmartShopper options, you’ll receive a cash reward in the mail—with no forms and no hassles—once the procedure has been completed and the claim has been paid.
What kind of medical procedures qualify for the cash reward?
You can use SmartShopper to shop for routine, non-emergency procedures, including ultrasounds and mammograms, MRIs and CAT scans, colonoscopies, and more. To find out if the procedure you need qualifies for a cash reward, shop for it on the website or call the SmartShopper Personal Assistant Team.
How much money could I potentially earn with SmartShopper?
Cash rewards vary from $20 to $500, depending on the specific procedure and where you choose to have it. There’s no limit to how much cash you could earn using SmartShopper. However, if you earn $600 or more in a calendar year, SmartShopper will send you a 1099 form to file with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Will using SmartShopper affect my health benefits or my choice of primary care provider (PCP)?
No, your benefit plan and choice of PCP will not be affected in any way—whether you choose to use SmartShopper to earn cash rewards or not.
Do I have to use one of the facilities SmartShopper identifies?
No, SmartShopper is a completely voluntary program. You will make the final decision about where to have your procedure. If you select a SmartShopper-identified facility, you can earn a cash reward. If you do not select one of the SmartShopper options, you will not qualify for a reward.
What if my doctor already scheduled my procedure at a facility not on the SmartShopper list?
If you’d like to have the procedure at one of the SmartShopper options and earn the cash reward, call the SmartShopper Personal Assistant Team for assistance. They will be happy to help change your appointment and help you get a new referral from your doctor if needed.
What if the place where I am already scheduled is a SmartShopper option?
If you are already scheduled at a SmartShopper facility, congratulations! You still need to shop either on the phone or online before your appointment to get a confirmation number, but you’ll receive the cash reward.
I know that the SmartShopper options are less expensive, but how do I know they are high quality?
All healthcare centers and facilities on the SmartShopper list are credentialed as part of the Blue Cross network and have met Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island’s (BCBSRI) quality standards.
Should I shop on the phone or online?
Whether you’re on the phone or online, SmartShopper provides a simple and convenient shopping experience—just as you’ve come to expect in other areas of your life. However, when you shop with the Personal Assistant Team you will get the added benefit of a friendly and professional personal assistant who can answer questions, make changes, set appointments, and support you every step of the way.
*The SmartShopper program is offered by Sapphire Digital, an independent company. Incentives available for select procedures only. Payments are a taxable form of income. Rewards may be delivered by check or an alternative form of payment. Members with coverage under Medicaid or Medicare are not eligible to receive incentive rewards under the SmartShopper program. SmartShopper is not available for BCBSRI’s fully insured HSA-qualified high deductible health plans, such as BlueSolutions for HSA.