Get your ad on CoverMeHealthInsurance
  Home > Health Insurance News > Blues And Visa Enter Into Co Branded Debit Card Deal

Blues And Visa Enter Into Co-Branded Debit Card Deal

Advertising Information for covermehealthinsurance
(CHICAGO – November 21, 2005) – The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) and Visa USA today announced an agreement to support participating Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies nationwide in offering their members co-branded debit cards to pay for healthcare related expenses.

The Blue-branded Visa debit card will provide consumers with easy access to their health plan personal savings accounts to conveniently pay for qualified medical expenses, while enhancing and encouraging more active healthcare decision-making.

The co-branded cards are part of a larger effort by Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies to provide consumers with the information and tools they need to make better decisions healthcare for themselves and their families.

“This relationship with Visa will help consumers who want to actively control their healthcare spending,” said Scott P. Serota, president and CEO, BCBSA. “Consumers want more control of their healthcare decisions, and Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies across the country are designing products that give consumers the tools they need to make more informed choices that lead to better and more affordable care.”

“Card-based employee benefit programs are driving changes in the industry by providing employers increased employee enrollment, while giving consumers tax-advantaged savings and broader options for making the most of their healthcare dollars,” said Elizabeth Buse, executive vice president, product development and management, Visa USA. “This combined effort of BCBSA and Visa provides consumers more convenient access to medical savings accounts, helping both employers and employees save time and money.”

Empowering the Evolution of Health Insurance
The Blue-branded Visa debit cards will be a central feature for members at participating Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies enrolled in consumer-directed health plans (CDHPs). Consumer-directed products offer the same overall benefit as other forms of health insurance, but they combine a higher deductible threshold with a personal savings account, giving consumers more control over first-dollar spending.

CDHPs are one of the fastest growing classes of health benefit products in the country and are designed to help consumers take more control of their healthcare decisions.

How the Cards Work
Consumers will be able to use the Blue-branded Visa debit card with flexible spending accounts (FSAs), health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) and health savings accounts (HSAs). HSAs are personal savings accounts that are coupled with high-deductible health plans.

Several Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies have already begun to offer Blue-branded Visa debit cards to their members. The Plans believe the debit cards will not only provide consumers with more convenient and flexible payment options, but will also give them a competitive business advantage.

“Debit cards reduce paperwork and help track individual and family healthcare expenses,” said William J. Marino, president and CEO, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey. “With this partnership, employers will be able to offer payment convenience and more affordable healthcare benefits from two brands their employees have come to know and trust.”

In addition to consumer benefits, Blue-branded Visa cards will help ease the administrative burden of physicians and other healthcare providers by reducing paperwork and facilitating faster payment turnaround.

A recent survey released by BCBSA on consumer perceptions of CDHPs found that satisfaction levels among consumers are high. In addition, individuals that are enrolled in these products are using the services and information tools insurers are providing them to better inform their healthcare decision making.

About the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association
The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association is made up of 39 independent, locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies that collectively provide healthcare coverage for more than 93 million – nearly one-in-three – Americans. For more information on the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and its Plans, please visit

About Visa USA
Visa USA is the nation's leading payment brand and largest payment system, enabling banks to provide their consumers and business customers with a wide variety of payment alternatives tailored to meet their evolving needs. Visa USA is committed to increasing the choice, convenience, acceptance, and security of Visa payments for all stakeholders in the payment system – Members, cardholders and merchants. Through its 14,000 Member financial institutions, more than 482 million Visa-branded cards have been issued to cardholders in the United States. Last year, U.S.-based financial institutions relied on Visa's processing system, VisaNet, to facilitate $1.3 trillion in transactions with unparalleled reliability.

Worldwide, cardholders in over 150 countries carry more than 1 billion Visa-branded cards, accounting for more than $3 trillion in annual transaction volume.

Visa offers a trusted, reliable and convenient way to access and mobilize financial resources - anytime, anywhere, anyway.

Back to Health Insurance News