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Title Issued Date

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...

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...

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...

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...

New Group Bill Pay Features - What You Need To Know

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

As we shared in October, as a result of the feedback provided by both brokers and employer groups, we’re improving our online bill pay features and invoices, so they are easier to use. In mid-January 2021, we will launch an improved online invoice and payment feature...

Commission for Individual Market/Direct Pay Dental

Broker News | November 2020 | Vol. 15 No. 11 - Special Issue

Individual Market and Commercial Direct Pay Dental contracts will be eligible for commission in 2021. The PDF below includes details of the amount. And for additional information on the 2021 Individual Dental Products the article is below.  Please contact your...

Reminder: Premium Credit Will Appear in December Invoices

Broker News | November 2020 | Vol. 15 No. 11 - Special Issue

December invoices will begin being issued on November 6, 2020. As a reminder, the December invoices will reflect a 20 percent refund of the medical billed premium for the month of April this year.  Please keep in mind the following:   The amount credited...

Broker Tips and Reminders for Individual Plans

Broker News | November 2020 | Vol. 15 No. 11 - Special Issue

Our Group, Safety Net, and Individual Market Sales teams continue to work together to assist employer groups that have been impacted by the pandemic.  We’re providing helpful resources and important dates if you have groups in need of assistance.  Important...

2021 Small Group Package Update

Broker News | October 2020 | Vol. 15 No. 10 - Special Issue

The following SimplyBlue Plus packages will no longer be offered directly through Excellus BCBS or on the New York State of Health (SHOP) Marketplace beginning January 1, 2021: Retiring Package Replacement Package SimplyBlue Plus Silver 4 ...

Medicare Advantage Recognized for Quality

Broker News | October 2020 | Vol. 15 No. 10 - Special Issue

The federal government’s latest quality ratings have awarded the Medicare Advantage programs from Excellus BCBS with some of the highest ratings in the state.  Medicare awarded Excellus BCBS with 4.5 stars out of a possible 5-star rating for its Medicare Blue Choice...

Need Help with Individual Market?

Broker News | October 2020 | Vol. 15 No. 10 - Special Issue

Our Group, Safety Net, and Individual Market Sales teams having been working together closely since spring when the pandemic began having an impact on some of our Groups. We’ve created an Individual Market Broker Tip Sheet to help walk you through key dates, renewal...

Social Security Number Updates for Subscribers

Broker News | October 2020 | Vol. 15 No. 10 - Special Issue

Please remember, if you need to add or update a subscriber’s social security number for an existing enrollee, you must do it manually before it can be submitted on your electronic file (either eFile or ANSI834). Manual updates can be requested using the enrollment and...

Premium Payment Processor Change

Broker News | October 2020 | Vol. 15 No. 10 - Special Issue

On January 1, 2021 our premium payment processor will change from Chase Paymentech to InstaMed®, a J.P. Morgan company. Groups that have scheduled online automatic premium payments and invoice delivery preferences will continue uninterrupted.  The AutoPay feature...

New Individual Medicare Toolkit Now Available

Broker News | October 2020 | Vol. 15 No. 10 - Special Issue

With many people continuing to work past age 65, employees are turning to their employers for guidance when making important decisions about their health insurance. The right advice may save employees money by avoiding lifetime late Medicare enrollment penalties. We’re...

Annual Rate Notices Being Mailed

Broker News | October 2020 | Vol. 15 No. 10 - Special Issue

Rate Information Available through Information Connection for Community Rated Groups  Your groups will receive their Annual Rate Notices (ARNs) at the end of October. Also, at the end of October, you will be able to access the Monthly Rate Summary report through...

PPE Notification to Members

Broker News | October 2020 | Vol. 15 No. 10 - Special Issue

The New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) is requiring us to notify members that our participating providers cannot bill their patients for the costs related to their purchase of personal protective equipment (PPE). Providers may only collect any...

ExcellusForBusiness.com Has a New Look

Broker News | October 2020 | Vol. 15 No. 10 - Special Issue

We’ve refreshed ExcellusForBusiness.com to reflect our Synchronized Health approach to supporting complete employee wellbeing.  Our free employer resources are now organized based on the three pillars of Synchronized Health:  Member Health Management ...

Dedicated Assistance Line for Brokers with Small Groups

Broker News | October 2020 | Vol. 15 No. 10 - Special Issue

For Brokers Only - This dedicated phone line is open to assist you when you have questions about your Small Group accounts. The line will be available from November 2, 2020 - January 29, 2021 and the representatives staffing the line will be able to help you with billing...

Reminder: Large Group Open Enrollment Materials

Broker News | October 2020 | Vol. 15 No. 10 - Special Issue

If you need printed copies of the 2021 Large Group Open Enrollment collateral, you can order them at ExcellusForBusiness.com/GroupGuidesLG At-a-Glance Brochure Product Guide Your materials will ship approximately 10 business days after your order is placed. And...

Flu Prevention is More Important Than Ever This Year

Broker News | October 2020 | Vol. 15 No. 10 - Special Issue

The flu is a contagious respiratory disease that can lead to hospitalization and even death. Because of COVID-19, it’s even more important to do everything you can to keep yourself and your family healthy this flu season. Our Flu Toolkit can help. It includes: Email...

Pharmacy Network Change

Broker News | October 2020 | Vol. 15 No. 10 - Special Issue

Pharmacy Network Change  As of September 1, 2020, Kroger, Albertson’s and Publix pharmacies are no longer part of the Excellus BlueCross BlueShield network. Express Scripts (ESI), our pharmacy benefit manager, is working hard to help reduce overall costs for members...

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