Empire Plan Offers Special Services for Cancer

If tomorrow you found out you had cancer, what would you do? If you're in the Empire Plan, you have access to special Cancer Resource Services (CRS) that you may not know about. The program provides paid-in-full coverage for cancer-related expenses received through a select group of providers recognized as leaders in cancer treatment.

CRS is staffed by experienced cancer nurses who can explain treatment options and help you choose the best physician and cancer center for a specific type of cancer. The CRS network includes the nationís leading cancer Centers of Excellence, such as Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. At these Centers, you receive paid-in-full benefits for covered services. No copayments apply.

Travel Expenses Covered 

If the Center you choose is more than 100 miles from the patient's home, reimbursement for travel, meal and lodging expenses is available to the patient and a companion. Available coach airfare is covered as part of the travel benefit when the Center is more than 200 miles from the patient's home. Covered travel expenses are reimbursed in accordance with federal guidelines.

Using a Center of Excellence for treatment is completely voluntary. If you decide to receive treatment from a different provider, your Empire Plan benefits are not diminished in any way. Remember to ask for an Empire Plan participating provider to minimize your out-of-pocket costs. When you use a non-participating provider, the Basic Medical deductible and coinsurance apply.  

How to Enroll

To participate in the Centers of Excellence for Cancer Program, call The Empire Plan toll-free at 1-877-7NYSHIP or 1-877-769-7447 and select United Health Care. Then choose Cancer Resource Services to connect to a CRS nurse consultant. CRS nurse consultants can answer your cancer-related questions and help you understand your diagnosis and treatment options. Call between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday except holidays. If you are currently receiving cancer treatment from a Center of Excellence and you have never made the call to enroll in the Centers of Excellence for Cancer Program, you must call CRS to receive the paid-in-full benefits.

Note: Cancer Treatment and Transplants

If you are enrolled in the Centers of Excellence for Cancer Program, you have paid-in-full benefits for your cancer treatment with the exception of transplants. The Empire Plan offers paid-in-full transplant services under the Centers of Excellence for Transplants Program. Because the networks for these two programs are different, the Center of Excellence you are using for your cancer treatment may not also be a Center of Excellence for Transplants. And, this may result in out-of-pocket expenses for you. To receive the maximum benefit, contact Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield at The Empire Plan toll-free at 1-877-7NYSHIP or 1-877-769-7447 as soon as you are identified as a candidate for transplant.