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Title Issued Date

NYS Prior Approval Of Rate Changes For Large Group HMO And Medicare Supplement

Broker News | July 2021 | Vol. 16 No. 7

On July 15, 2021 an application was submitted requesting 2022 premium rate changes in accordance with New York state prior approval law. This rate application applies to Community Rated Large Group HMO and Medicare Supplement products. The following products are included...

Online Bill Pay Available Now For Your Groups

Broker News | July 2021 | Vol. 16 No. 7

Earlier this year, we launched new and improved online bill pay features. Your groups with bill pay access can log in to Employer.ExcellusBCBS.com to: View invoices, payments, and balance due Pay premium bills Setup automatic payments Pay for one or multiple...

The Price Of Back Pain In The Workplace And Home Office

Broker News | July 2021 | Vol. 16 No. 7

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), low back pain (LBP) causes more global disability than any other condition. According to a report by Integrated Benefits Institute (IBI), nearly one in four U.S. employees report experiencing lower-back...

Your ARPA Questions Answered About The Individual Market

Broker News | July 2021 | Vol. 16 No. 7 - Special Issue

We have received many questions from brokers regarding the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) and how it impacts members who may have transitioned from group coverage to the individual market. Several new changes have been implemented for NY State Residents: New...

2022 Large Group Product Updates

Broker News | July 2021 | Vol. 16 No. 7 - Special Issue

We know that health and wellbeing have taken on new meaning and significance over the past year. That’s why we’re bringing you more ways to get the most from your benefits, all backed by a local, caring team and more than 85 years of strength and stability. Here’s What’s...

Premium Payment Reminder

Broker News | June 2021 | Vol. 16 No. 6

Please remind your groups, per contract, there is a 30-day grace period to make their premium payment. If payment is not received within the 30-day grace period, we will initiate the termination process. As a reminder, the first premium payment must be made prior to the...

New Feature Added To Enroll & Update

Broker News | June 2021 | Vol. 16 No. 6

Based on feedback provided by our brokers, we have added a filtering feature to Enroll & Update. Login to the broker portal →      Click on Enroll & Update. Click on View Member Roster Filter by package status: Active, Terminated, Pending, All...

Our Opioid Management Strategy

Broker News | June 2021 | Vol. 16 No. 6

Over 81,000 drug overdose deaths occurred in the United States between May 2019 and May 2020. This is the highest number of overdose deaths ever recorded in a 12-month period. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), overdose deaths were already...

Delivering Peace Of Mind With Our Maternity Care Program

Broker News | June 2021 | Vol. 16 No. 6

Your groups need a comprehensive approach to wellbeing – especially expectant mothers. To help put employees and their employers at ease, we've applied our Synchronized Health™ approach to our specialized Maternity Care Program. It combines our care management expertise...

Broker Support Needed For SELECT GROUPS With COBRA

Broker News | June 2021 | Vol. 16 No. 6 - Special Issue

As a reminder, the Department of Labor (DOL) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Disaster Relief Notice 2021-01 (the Notice) that further defined previously issued tolling periods for certain COBRA timeframes. Shortly after, Congress passed the American Rescue...

Individual & Small Group – NYS Prior Approval Of Rate Changes

Broker News | May 2021 | Vol. 16 No. 5

On May 12, 2021 an application was submitted requesting 2022 premium rate changes in accordance with New York state prior approval law. This rate application applies to Community Rated Individual and Small Group products. The following products are included in this 2022...

Pediatric Dental Updates To Small Group Rate Sheets

Broker News | May 2021 | Vol. 16 No. 5

New language has been added to the pediatric dental section of all small group medical plan rate sheets. The update states that groups with pediatric dental excluded from their medical plan must notify Excellus BCBS if their dental coverage changes. This is to confirm...

Our Pandemic Response And Support For Pharmacy Members

Broker News | May 2021 | Vol. 16 No. 5

Our number one priority is to always provide our members with high-quality, low-cost care. The importance of doing this came to the forefront at the height of the pandemic; especially when the search for therapies to treat COVID-19 were at a peak. Early in the pandemic,...

24/7 Access With Our Mobile App

Broker News | May 2021 | Vol. 16 No. 5

Remember, our mobile app offers members 24/7 access to their health plan. They can view member cards, find participating doctors, view plan benefits and claims, at home or on the go. Creating an account is easy with a quick scan of their member card or by typing their...

Excellus BCBS Website Now Supports Edge

Broker News | May 2021 | Vol. 16 No. 5

Our website now officially supports the Edge browser and will no longer be supporting Internet Explorer, since it is being retired by Microsoft. Please recommend to your groups that they change to either Microsoft Edge or Google Chrome. Edge or Chrome continue to be...

Google Certification For Health Insurance Advertising

Broker News | May 2021 | Vol. 16 No. 5

On April 20, Google announced they are instituting a certification process for health insurance advertising intended to protect consumers. Google has seen an influx in advertising for misleading products and services and wants to ensure that the only brands permitted to...

American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Impact On Individual Market Members

Broker News | May 2021 | Vol. 16 No. 5 - Special Issue

We’re reaching out as follow up to information you should have received from NY State of Health (NYSOH) regarding Individual Market members. On March 11, 2021, the American Rescue Plan Act was signed into law. The law delivers immediate relief to working families bearing...

Changes Coming To Block Rating For 2022

Broker News | May 2021 | Vol. 16 No. 5 - Special Issue

Recently, we completed an analysis of our experience-rated groups and block rating methodology. Based on our evaluation, we filed and received approval from the NYS Department of Financial Services (DFS) to individually rate groups with over 100 full time equivalents...

Overview Of The Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA), 2021

Broker News | April 2021 | Vol. 16 No. 4

The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, contains multiple provisions that will affect group health plans and the health care system, overall. The timeline to implement these provisions is an aggressive one with many effective dates of January 1, 2022. Mental Health...

Safeguarding Member Information In A Remote Work Environment

Broker News | April 2021 | Vol. 16 No. 4

Remember, the Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and Protected Health Information (PHI) of our members always needs to be safeguarded. Here are some important reminders to keep in mind, especially while working in a remote environment. Keep documents with...

New Broker Onboarding Materials Available In Sales Hub

Broker News | April 2021 | Vol. 16 No. 4

We are excited to announce we will be utilizing the Sales Hub for new broker training. In the past, new broker onboarding was held twice a year at our Waterloo, NY training facility. Based on feedback received from our brokers and the need for more virtual options to...

May Is Mental Health Awareness Month

Broker News | April 2021 | Vol. 16 No. 4

Each year millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental illness. Now—more than a year into a global pandemic—isolation, anxiety, and loneliness have made a difficult time more challenging for many people. Learn more about how to fight the stigma of mental...

Changes To Member ID Cards Coming In April

Broker News | March 2021 | Vol. 16 No. 3

In December, the NYS Department of Financial Services (DFS) issued new minimum standards for the content on health insurance identification cards. Changes apply to MEDICAL and MEDICAL/PHARMACY IDENTIFICATION CARDS ONLY (changes will not apply to dental only and pharmacy...

MDLIVE Partnership

Broker News | March 2021 | Vol. 16 No. 3

Excellus BlueCross BlueShield partners with MDLIVE for its telemedicine services. We are aware that Evernorth has entered into an agreement to acquire MDLIVE and is expected to complete the acquisition in second quarter 2021. At this time, Excellus BCBS plans to...

Tools To Help Members Make The Most Of Their Health Plan

Broker News | March 2021 | Vol. 16 No. 3

It’s easier than ever for your groups to navigate and use their high deductible health plans (HDHP). Did you know? Groups and employees new to HDHP take time to transition, and satisfaction is often lower the first year. An online member account, paired with a health...

Welcome Kits For Community Rated Medical Groups

Broker News | March 2021 | Vol. 16 No. 3

Beginning in April, new community rated medical groups will receive a welcome brochure as an acknowledgement and thank you for their business. This personalized brochure will include broker contact information, as well as highlights of some of our most valued programs...

Helpful Information For Advance Care Planning

Broker News | March 2021 | Vol. 16 No. 3

April 16th is National Healthcare Decision Day (NHDD). Per the CDC, whether someone is facing an acute illness, a long-term chronic or a terminal illness, Advanced Care Planning can help alleviate unnecessary suffering, improve quality of life and provide a better...

UPDATE: Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) Disaster Relief Notice 2021-01

Broker News | March 2021 | Vol. 16 No. 3 - Special Issue

As a follow-up to our communication sent on March 8, we have additional information to share with you regarding the recently announced Disaster Relief Notice 2021-01 and what this means for certain members. COBRA Participants in their Tolling Period We are currently...

Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) Disaster Relief Notice 2021-01

Broker News | March 2021 | Vol. 16 No. 3 - Special Issue

On February 26, the Department of Labor (DOL) together with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), issued Disaster Relief Notice 2021-01, which impacts COBRA, as well as Medical and Dental members. The notice clarified that the COVID-19-related tolling periods will continue...

Call Out COVID-19 Vaccine Fraud With NYS Hotline

Broker News | February 2021 | Vol. 16 No. 2

New York State has established a hotline that anyone can call to report suspected COVID-19 vaccine-related fraud or scams. Remember, it’s a red flag if anyone is promising individuals the vaccine in exchange for payment. To make a report, please direct individuals to...

2021 Broker Guide Is Available Now

Broker News | February 2021 | Vol. 16 No. 2

Guiding your clients as they navigate the complexities of health insurance is one way you can ensure they have confidence in their health plan in this uncertain world. We want you to have that same confidence knowing we’re here to support you every step of the way. The...

Special Enrollment Period Extended To May 15

Broker News | February 2021 | Vol. 16 No. 2

The NYS Special Enrollment Period has been extended until May 15, for medical and standalone dental plans. Our Individual Market broker tip sheet has been updated and has complete details. Contact your account representative with any questions. For any clients that may...

Small Group Dental Changes To Minimum Enrollment Requirements For Orthodontic Coverage

Broker News | February 2021 | Vol. 16 No. 2

Any New Dental groups looking to obtain dental coverage that includes Class IV Ortho coverage will only be required to have 5 enrolled as opposed to the 10 previously required. Additionally, any Existing Dental groups that are looking to align their Medical and Dental...

March Is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

Broker News | February 2021 | Vol. 16 No. 2

Did you know one in 20 people develops colon cancer in their lifetime? The good news is Colon Cancer can often be prevented through regular screenings and screening is recommended for adults ages 50-75. Learn more by downloading and sharing this poster. Poster - Facts...

Employees Have Questions; We Have Answers

Broker News | February 2021 | Vol. 16 No. 2 - Special Issue

COVID-19 has dominated every aspect of our lives for nearly a year. While the approval—and pending approval—of new vaccines offers hope, they also raise many questions. Is a vaccine that was created so quickly actually safe? Can I stop wearing a mask if I receive the...

COVID-19 Vaccine Coverage

Broker News | January 2021 | Vol. 16 No. 1

By mid-2021, it is believed that FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccines will be available to the general public. Once available, under state and federal mandate, vaccines will be provided at no cost* to our members during the public health emergency. Key facts about COVID-19...

Relief Provided For Flexible Spending Account Plans In Stimulus Bill

Broker News | January 2021 | Vol. 16 No. 1

On December 27, 2020, the President signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act for 2021. This new law provides relief options related to Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs). Employers can choose to adopt any of these provisions or to keep their plan the same. Optional...

Tax Form 1095-B

Broker News | January 2021 | Vol. 16 No. 1

Health insurers—including Excellus BCBS—are no longer mailing tax form 1095-B to members. Because taxpayers are not required to include the form when filing their taxes, the IRS no longer requires us to mail the form. Members can still download the form or request it by...

Small Group Dental Rates Now Available For All Quarters

Broker News | January 2021 | Vol. 16 No. 1

New in 2021, Small Groups can align their medical and dental plan years. Rates for all effective dates in 2021 are now available on Blue on Demand. This includes the following products: Dental Blue Options SimplyBlue Plus Dental Be sure to note, a new section has...

Update On Pre-Authorizations

Broker News | January 2021 | Vol. 16 No. 1

For fully insured employer group plan members, pre-authorization is waived beginning on December 23, 2020 through February 21, 2021 for scheduled inpatient surgeries, inpatient mental health services, hospital admissions, inpatient rehabilitation, in-network home health...

In A Year Like No Other... A COMPREHENSIVE RESPONSE LIKE NO OTHER

Broker News | January 2021 | Vol. 16 No. 1

As the COVID-19 crisis escalated through 2020, we worked (and continue to work) relentlessly to protect and serve our members, partners and communities during this critical time of need. We are working to ensure that members have access to the care they need and are...

Revised Guidelines For ExerciseRewards

Broker News | January 2021 | Vol. 16 No. 1

Excellus BCBS members can now earn ExerciseRewards for at-home workouts through the end of 2021. We are waiving our standard guidelines for this program due to continued gym closures, mask mandates, and other requirements, as a result of the ongoing pandemic. Members are...

2021 Large & Small Group Product Updates

Broker News | Januray 2020

2020 was a challenging year in ways we’ve never experienced before. Financial solvency remains a real concern and, through it all, businesses are seeking new ways to support and protect the health and wellbeing of one of your biggest assets: your employees. Excellus BCBS...

Updated Microsite And New COVID-19 Resources

Broker News | December 2020 | Vol. 15 No. 12 - Special Issue

Keeping you informed throughout this global pandemic is one of our top priorities. Earlier this year, we launched a dedicated COVID-19 Resource Website: ExcellusBCBS.com/covid19. We are closely monitoring COVID-19 and vaccine developments and this website has a wealth of...

Stay Safe. Spread Joy.

Broker News | December 2020 | Vol. 15 No. 12 - Special Issue

Though this holiday season may look different than what we’re used to, we’d like to encourage you to celebrate the things we can do. Sending cards. Keeping in touch with friends and family. Virtual gatherings. Learning to cook something new. Having a snowman contest. ...

Our Best Wishes For A Healthy Holiday Season

Broker News | December 2020 | Vol. 15 No. 12

As we come to the end of an historic year, we want you to know how truly grateful we are for our broker partners. We have all had to process many changes—most happening on a moment’s notice—all while ensuring our members feel secure in knowing they have our support. ...

Getting Ready For The Next Phase Of The Sales Hub

Broker News | December 2020 | Vol. 15 No. 12

The Sales Hub was launched this summer to support your training and presentation needs related to the 2020 Open Enrollment season. As 2020 comes to a close, we’ll be temporarily closing access to the Sales Hub so that we can make updates and improvements to the tool. If...

COVID-19-Related Exceptions For Blue Healthy Dollars

Broker News | December 2020 | Vol. 15 No. 12

Due to Covid-19, the reimbursement criteria will be expanded to allow reimbursement for the following new items: At-home online workout subscriptions (i.e., Daily Burn, Beach Body, etc.) At-home fitness equipment (i.e., dumbbells, Peloton bikes, ellipticals, etc.) ...

The Power To Quit Smoking

Broker News | December 2020 | Vol. 15 No. 12

Beginning January 1, 2021, smoking cessation support will be provided through our Wellframe app. Members have access to a comprehensive program that includes program modules, videos, and articles to support them on their journey to quit smoking. And they can access all...

Authorization Required To Pay Out-Of-Network Dentists Directly

Broker News | December 2020 | Vol. 15 No. 12

Effective January 1, 2021, dental members will have the option to choose how they want to provide payment to out-of-network dental providers. They can choose to assign payment directly to their dentist or for payment to go directly to the member. In order to assign...

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