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Tandem Health Advantage: What's in It for You

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When it comes to health care, a lot has been said about finding ways to save money. And that’s all good; cutting health care costs could lead to lower premiums, which means less money out of your pocket. But here’s a way to put money in: Tandem Health Advantage. The personal shopping service gives cash rewards to UNH benefits-eligible employees who make conscious decisions about where they have tests or other medical procedures done.

There’s no need to sign up for anything; employees who have Harvard Pilgrim Health Care qualify automatically. And, it’s voluntary. There is nothing that says you need to use the service. But if you’re looking to make a few bucks, here’s how Tandem works:

If your doctor orders outpatient tests such as an MRI, CT scan, mammogram, colonoscopy, ultrasound or lab work, call or email Tandem (1-866-797-4100 or info@tandemcare.com) and a nurse will help you compare costs in your area. If the provider where your doctor ordered the test is more money, and you choose to go somewhere that costs less, the Tandem nurse will help you reschedule. And, you’ll get a cash reward.

How much? It depends on the savings. If you call Tandem and you’re already using a low-cost facility, you’ll get $20. If you switch to a lower-priced provider, you’ll receive $40 if the savings is between $150 and $249; $75 if it’s between $250 and $449; $100 between $450 and $649; $150 between $650 and $999 and $200 if you save $1,000 or more.

And if you think it’s not possible to have that much of a difference between the cost of the same test, check out the New Hampshire HealthCost website (http://nhhealthcost.usnh.edu/ ). Search for the test you’re scheduled to have and see the range of fees. For example, there is a $1,591 difference between the lowest price and the highest for a CT of the pelvic. An MRI of the knee has a range of $2,133 depending on where it’s done.

When you call Tandem Health Advantage and use a lower cost facility, USNH will save money-- which will help to keep future health plan costs down--and you will receive a check in the mail for being a smart healthcare shopper.

Once Harvard Pilgrim has determined the service is covered and the provider has been paid, you will be mailed your reward. Each time you or your dependents use Tandem Health and opt to use a less expensive provider, you will get a reward.

Harvard Pilgrim may require a referral and/or prior authorization. Contact Harvard Pilgrim for more information or check you plan coverage.

Note: All rewards are taxable income.