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When Everything Works Together, Everybody Benefits.

Broker News | July 2024 | Vol. 19 No. 7

Health care works best when it works together. A coordinated, caring, personalized, and holistic health insurance experience that connects the dots for everyone. That’s why we’ve taken a hard look at the Excellus BCBS commercial group positioning, and aligned it more...

Warby Parker Added To Vision Network

Broker News | July 2024 | Vol. 19 No. 7

Together with our partner, Davis Vision, we are excited to announce the expansion of our vision network to include Warby Parker as of July 1, 2024. This enhancement has no premium rate impact. Members will enjoy full access to Warby Parker’s elevated shopping experience...

August Wellness Topic: The Importance Of Vaccines

Broker News | July 2024 | Vol. 19 No. 7

Most of us probably don’t remember when people regularly died from smallpox or polio. There have been no cases of smallpox anywhere in the world since 1980. Polio has been eliminated in the United States because of vaccination, though it is still a threat in some other...

Rx News - Join Us For Our July Specialty Drug Webinar

Broker News | July 2024 | Vol. 19 No. 7

Topic: Beyond the Buzz: Specialty Drug Trends & Solutions July 25th, 2:00 - 2:45 p.m. ET What are the top trend drivers for specialty pharmacy? What does the future look like for these trends? How can businesses save money on these high-cost drugs? These are...

Rx News - Site Of Care For Infusion Drug Therapy

Broker News | July 2024 | Vol. 19 No. 7

We are continuously looking for ways to promote member convenience while lowering overall costs. The Site of Care (SOC) program provides outreach to patients receiving select infusion or injectable drugs at high-cost facilities and transitions these patients to home...

2025 Large Group Product Updates

Broker News | July 2024 | Vol. 19 No. 7 - Special Issue

With a new year comes exciting new changes to bring groups and members even better coverage. Take a look at what’s in store for 2025. Here’s What’s New for 2025*: Reminder! ThriveWell℠ Introduced in 2024, ThriveWell is a digital home base dedicated to engaging teams...

We Want To Hear From Your Employer Groups!

Broker News | June 2024 | Vol. 19 No. 6

Throughout the year, employer groups receive a satisfaction survey from us. The second quarter survey is being sent to some employer groups this month. The feedback and experience of our employer groups is valuable, we want to learn from them. If your group has not yet...

Qualified Health Plan (QHP) Update On Monthly Open Enrollment Period

Broker News | June 2024 | Vol. 19 No. 6

As of June 1, 2024, individuals will need a qualifying event/special election period (SEP), or must wait until November, to enroll or make changes to their health insurance. As a reminder, during the COVID public health emergency, New York State had continuous open...

July Wellness Topic: The Benefits Of Physical Activity

Broker News | June 2024 | Vol. 19 No. 6

Exercise gives you energy. That may seem counterintuitive, but exercise boosts energy levels. Even occasional exercise improves your mental wellbeing, thinking and sleep and reduces anxiety and blood pressure. Regular exercise has even more benefits than an occasional...

Rx News - NEW! Integrated Pharmacy Program Flyers Now Available

Broker News | June 2024 | Vol. 19 No. 6

We now have Integrated Pharmacy Program Flyers accessible for use. These flyers include every value-added and optional pharmacy program we have available to groups who have their medical and pharmacy integrated with us. These flyers have been created for each funding...

Rx News - New! Pharmacy Concierge Program Video Series

Broker News | June 2024 | Vol. 19 No. 6

Now available are newly created series of videos to leverage highlighting our Pharmacy Concierge Program. Mona Chitre, Chief Pharmacy Officer, and President Pharmacy Solutions Chapter 1: Why we created Pharmacy Concierge Chapter 2: What sets us apart with Pharmacy...

Individual & Small Group – NYS Prior Approval Of Rate Changes

Broker News | May 2024 | Vol. 19 No. 5 - Special Issue

On May 15, 2024, an application was submitted requesting 2025 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 2025...

The Lifetime Healthcare Companies Announce Plans To Affiliate With CDPHP

Broker News | May 2024 | Vol. 19 No. 5 - Special Issue

Today (May 22), we announced that The Lifetime Healthcare Companies (LTHC), the parent company of Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, plans to form an affiliation with CDPHP, one of New York’s leading not-for-profit health insurance companies. This affiliation is aimed at...

We Want To Hear From You!

Broker News | May 2024 | Vol. 19 No. 5

The annual broker satisfaction survey is now live until May 31. Your feedback and experience are valuable, and we want to learn more from you. If you have not already, you will receive an email with a link to the survey. Please respond by May 31. If you have any...

Past Due: What If My Group Missed The RxDC Deadline?

Broker News | May 2024 | Vol. 19 No. 5

We have received questions from groups and brokers about what to do if a group did not complete the RxDC online form by the due date of April 12. If a group missed the deadline, they should report the information directly to CMS in HIOS (or have another reporting entity...

Plan Designation Indemnification Is Now A Fillable Form

Broker News | May 2024 | Vol. 19 No. 5

We’re excited to share the availability of a fillable Plan Designation Indemnification form. This has been a request from brokers and self-insured groups that use the form alike, and we look forward to this new form saving time for everyone. The fillable versions of...

Working To Deliver A Real Time Enrollment Experience

Broker News | May 2024 | Vol. 19 No. 5

Enhancements are coming soon to our online “Enroll & Update” tool that will allow us to process many of your transactions in real time. You’ll begin seeing these changes within the next month. For example: When making “Enroll a New Member” transactions, a...

June Is Employee Wellness Month

Broker News | May 2024 | Vol. 19 No. 5

Most adults spend more time at work than anywhere else. And work has a significant impact on all aspects of our wellbeing. According to Gallup, people who are thriving in all aspects of wellbeing are healthier and more engaged at work. Yet 6 in 10 adults in the US have a...

Rx News - GLP-1 Webinar Recording Now Available

Broker News | May 2024 | Vol. 19 No. 5

As we learned in our recent webinar: Studies show that weight loss drugs paired with healthy lifestyle modifications provide the maximum benefit. With the right Utilization Management strategies in place, we can help mitigate off-label drug use and control costs. As...

Rx News - A New Way For Self-Funded Groups To Save

Broker News | May 2024 | Vol. 19 No. 5

Self-funded commercial group members now have access to GoodRx® prescription pricing. GoodRx provides automatic savings on many generic prescription drugs when available. Our Price Assure flyer has additional information. Please contact your account representative with...

Healthy New York Business Applications And Recertifications For Small Group

Broker News | April 2024 | Vol. 19 No. 4

Updated versions of the Healthy New York (HNY) New Business application and the HNY Recertification form are now available online at Blue On Demand. They are also available on our website under the Broker and Employer portals where small group new business and renewal...

About ACQAs: Broker Training

Broker News | April 2024 | Vol. 19 No. 4

We continue to update and add to our Sales Hub eLearning offerings. Our latest training material focuses on Accountable Cost and Quality Agreement (ACQA). An ACQA is a localized approach to value-based payment agreements. This session will explain more about what an ACQA...

Online Chat Now Available On Davis Vision Website

Broker News | April 2024 | Vol. 19 No. 4

Davis Vision now has an online chat tool available to assist members in locating their benefits and eligibility information. The chat tool becomes available after a member creates an account and logs into the Davis Vision website. Members can ask questions or gather...

May Is Mental Health Awareness Month

Broker News | April 2024 | Vol. 19 No. 4

Mental and physical health are equally important components of overall health and wellbeing. Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social wellbeing. It affects how we think, feel, and act. Poor mental health increases physical health risks, while poor...

Rx News - Save On Medical Benefit Specialty Drugs With Smart RxAssist

Broker News | April 2024 | Vol. 19 No. 4

In continuing efforts to combat the rising cost of specialty medications, Excellus BCBS is providing an innovative financial assistance program, Smart RxAssist. Smart RxAssist is a specialty drug assistance program offering financial relief to employers and employees on...

Rx News - Saving $105,207 In Prescription Drug Costs With Pharmacy Concierge

Broker News | April 2024 | Vol. 19 No. 4

A new case study has been published on ExcellusforBusiness.com showcasing the ROI Heritage Christian Services, Inc. has seen from enrolling in Pharmacy Concierge. In 2023, Heritage Christian Services saw an ROI that is almost four times more than their guarantee. Learn...

Rx News - Join Us For Our First Pharmacy Webinar

Broker News | April 2024 | Vol. 19 No. 4

Beyond the Buzz: Understanding the GLP-1 Trend April 24, 2:00 - 2:45 p.m. ET GLP-1 Agonists are currently one of the most talked about trends in the pharmacy market. What are these drugs? What are their long-term impacts? What are we doing to lower costs for...

REMINDER: It’s Time To Report Your 2023 Prescription Data

Broker News | March 2024 | Vol. 19 No. 3

The 2021 Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA) requires group and individual health plans to report annual data about prescription drugs and health care spending to the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The last day to submit this data to CMS for the 2023...

Target Optical And Pearle Vision Being Added To Vision Network

Broker News | March 2024 | Vol. 19 No. 3

Together with our partner, Davis Vision, we are excited to announce the expansion of our network in 2024 with the addition of Target Optical and Pearle Vision. With this addition, members will be able to access more than 150,000 in-network points of eye care. This...

Important Reminder About Our Brand Use Request Process

Broker News | March 2024 | Vol. 19 No. 3

Brokers and agents must request use of our Excellus BlueCross BlueShield brand. This includes anything from our logo on your website, to mailings, collateral or advertising you create. To make it easier to request use, we’ve created an overview, guidelines, and a request...

Why Your Primary Care Provider Matters

Broker News | March 2024 | Vol. 19 No. 3

Taking care of your health is one of the most important things you can do to help you feel your best every day. Your Primary Care Provider is your partner in managing your health. Seeing them for regular preventive care ensures you are up to date on recommended screenings...

It’s Time To Report Your 2023 Prescription Data

Broker News | February 2024 | Vol. 19 No. 2 - Special Issue

The 2021 Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA) requires group and individual health plans to report annual data about prescription drugs and health care spending to the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The last day to submit this data to CMS for the 2023...

Learn How ACQAs Help Increase Quality Care For Members

Broker News | February 2024 | Vol. 19 No. 2

An Accountable Cost & Quality Agreement (ACQA) is our localized approach to value-based payment agreements. ACQAs promote a better, more holistic patient experience for members while working to reduce unnecessary medical costs for all. Watch Our 3-Minute Video To...

Reminder Regarding WellNow Urgent Care Provider Status

Broker News | February 2024 | Vol. 19 No. 2

Recently, some Excellus BlueCross BlueShield members may have received communication from WellNow Urgent Care that could cause confusion regarding coverage and benefits. To clarify and remind our members, WellNow made the decision to leave our provider network on Jan. 1,...

NEW! ThriveWell℠ Toolkit Now Available

Broker News | February 2024 | Vol. 19 No. 2

A toolkit for our new digital, wellbeing program ThriveWell, administered by Virgin Pulse, can now be found on ExcellusforBusiness.com. With a ready-to-send email, member guide, quick start flyer, overview flyer, and reward flyers employers can encourage their team to...

NEW! Headspace Toolkit Now Available

Broker News | February 2024 | Vol. 19 No. 2

A toolkit for our new mindfulness and meditation partner*, Headspace, administered by Virgin Pulse, can now be found on ExcellusforBusiness.com. This toolkit includes a ready-to-send email, Headspace overview flyer, and material to help guide members through creating an...

Rx News - Navigating The GLP-1 Trend

Broker News | February 2024 | Vol. 19 No. 2

Diabetes is one of the top trend drivers of pharmacy costs due to the growing diabetic population and newer, more expensive therapies recommended earlier in the treatment plan. Since 2006, medications like Ozempic® and Trulicity® have been used to treat Type 2 Diabetes....

Have You Listened To Our Community Check-In Podcast?

Broker News | February 2024 | Vol. 19 No. 2

Each week, with our Community Check-In podcasts, we have conversations with local experts about all things health, sharing the latest info and tips to support you in managing your health and wellness. Our latest episode: The Loneliness Epidemic: Unveiling The Health...

The Importance Of Sleep

Broker News | February 2024 | Vol. 19 No. 2

Sleeping is a basic human need, like eating, drinking, and breathing. Did you know adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep per night, and children and teens need even more? Surveys show the average adult sleeps fewer than seven hours a night. According to the...

Tax Form 1095-B

Broker News | January 2024 | Vol. 19 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...

Gag Clause Confirmation Of Attestations Completed

Broker News | January 2024 | Vol. 19 No. 1

On December 31, 2023, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield completed the gag clause attestations on behalf of our fully insured and minimum premium groups who have our Rx. A gag clause Certificate of Attestation is available to groups, upon request. Reach out to your account...

NEW For 2024: Virtual Physical Therapy Through Vori Health

Broker News | January 2024 | Vol. 19 No. 1

Every business wants to help their employees live their best. That’s why we are providing another option for physical therapy, so employees can have more accessibility when it comes to the care they need. Excellus BlueCross BlueShield is now partnering with Vori Health...

Watch: Making The Most Of Your Health Plan

Broker News | January 2024 | Vol. 19 No. 1

The Making the Most of Your Health Plan videos for 2024 are ready! These member-level videos provide a navigation of our member online account and mobile app, while highlighting important benefits, tools, and resources available to members. There are three videos based...

Blue On Demand Website Enhancements For Small Groups

Broker News | January 2024 | Vol. 19 No. 1

To help create a better user experience for our Small Groups, we’ve updated Blue on Demand with the following enhancements: Medical Updates You can now compare the previous Q4 year rating period selected (Ex: 2022 to 2023) Added a new banner to link to dental...

February Is American Heart Month

Broker News | January 2024 | Vol. 19 No. 1

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Preventive (CDC), heart disease is the leading cause of death for men, women, people aged 45 and over, and most races and Hispanic-origin groups, accounting for 1 in every 5 deaths in the US. The term “heart disease”...

Update: WellNow Urgent Care 1/3/24

Broker News | January 2024 | Vol. 19 No. 1 - Special Issue

WellNow Urgent Care has made a decision to leave the Excellus BlueCross BlueShield (BCBS) provider network effective Monday, January 1, 2024. While we’re disappointed by their decision, we’re prepared to assist members with questions about their health benefits and...

Update: WellNow Urgent Care

Broker News | December 2023 | Vol. 18 No. 12 - Special Issue

With WellNow Urgent Care announcing its intent to leave Excellus BlueCross BlueShield’s provider network on December 31, 2023, we are prepared to assist our members with questions about their health benefits and options for care. Contrary to public statements, we have...

Season’s Greetings. Holiday Cheer. From Our Team To Yours.

Broker News | December 2023 | Vol. 18 No. 12

As the year comes to a close, we extend our warmest appreciation and gratitude for your partnership and loyalty. May the year ahead be filled with peace and prosperity for you and your loved ones. Have a safe and happy holiday season!    

2024 Broker Guide Is Here

Broker News | December 2023 | Vol. 18 No. 12

The 2024 Broker Guide for Excellus BlueCross BlueShield is now available to help you better service our clients and grow your brokerage business. The guide is available in the broker portal on the Excellus BCBS website. If you have any questions about the 2024 Broker...

Our Next Step Toward Health Equity

Broker News | December 2023 | Vol. 18 No. 12

We want everyone to have the chance to be as healthy as possible. Health equity is about removing any barriers that get in the way of health. We notified you earlier this fall that we would begin contacting our group members and asking them to share more about themselves...

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