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Title Issued Date

Member ID Card Update

Broker News | November 2021 | Vol. 16 No. 11 - Special Issue

As we previously communicated, because of the Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA) of 2021, we will be reissuing many Member ID cards for January 1, 2022. To ensure cards are efficiently issued, please send us your enrollment as soon as possible or notify us as to when...

2022 Individual Market Plans

Broker News | November 2021 | Vol. 16 No. 11

Our SafetyNet and Individual Market Sales Team is ready to assist brokers during the upcoming 2022 Open Enrollment Period. If you have a client who is not eligible for an Employer Group Plan, Medicare, or Qualified Health Plan offerings, we are here to support you....

2022 Product Update: Calm® App And Blue Simplicity

Broker News | November 2021 | Vol. 16 No. 11

Great news! The Calm® App now has full contract finalization and New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) approval. Additionally, DFS has approved Blue Simplicity for fully insured large groups with effective dates of 1/1/22 and later. Calm® App Finalized...

Recipients Of 2021 Health Equity Awards Announced

Broker News | November 2021 | Vol. 16 No. 11

Excellus BCBS announced the recipients of its 2021 Health Equity Awards. The awards represent more than $388,000 in financial support we are providing to community programs that address racial and ethnic health disparities across our service area. The funding will...

Coping With Winter And Holiday Blues

Broker News | November 2021 | Vol. 16 No. 11

As the days get shorter and the temperatures colder, some people may notice they feel down or have less energy than usual. This could just be the winter blues caused by less activity, or stress or sadness related to the holidays. Daylight, exercise, healthy eating, and...

Changes To Member ID Cards

Broker News | October 2021 | Vol. 16 No. 10 - Special Issue

Both New York State and the federal government have mandated changes to health insurance member identification cards. Beginning November 1, 2021, we will begin sending member cards in compliance with the federal mandate that takes effect January 1, 2022. Federally...

Excellus BCBS Achieves 5-Star Rating For Two Of Its Medicare Plans

Broker News | October 2021 | Vol. 16 No. 10

Among the highest in the nation and upstate New York. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) annual Star Ratings for 2022 has awarded Excellus BCBS five-star ratings for two of its Medicare plans, making it among the highest rated Medicare plans in the...

Coming Soon – Online Billing For Brokers

Broker News | October 2021 | Vol. 16 No. 10

We have started our pilot program and will be rolling out Online Billing to all Brokers in the coming months. With Online Billing you will be able to: Access all your group’s billing information under one login View and download your group’s invoices View your...

Annual Rate Notices Being Mailed

Broker News | October 2021 | Vol. 16 No. 10

Groups will receive Annual Rate Notices (ARNs) at the end of October. This includes: Small Group Products Large Group HMO Individual Medicare Advantage, Simply Prescription and Dental prospective pooled group notices and rates will be issued and viewable in...

Update To Small Group Medical Underwriting Guidelines

Broker News | October 2021 | Vol. 16 No. 10

Small Group medical underwriting guidelines have been updated and are available on our website and on Blue On Demand. Please reach out to your dedicated underwriter or account representative with any questions. View the Updated Guidelines  

Excellus BCBS Inside Rx Prescription Discount Card

Broker News | October 2021 | Vol. 16 No. 10

Excellus BlueCross BlueShield continues its mission of helping people in our communities live healthier and more secure lives through high-quality and affordable health care access. As part of that ongoing commitment, we’re excited to announce that we have partnered with...

Update To COVID Treatment Benefits

Broker News | October 2021 | Vol. 16 No. 10

Excellus BCBS will continue to cover IN-NETWORK COVID treatment benefits for fully insured members in full through December 31, 2021. Self-funded groups that previously opted-in will be given the choice to extend that option through December 31, 2021.  

November Is Diabetes Awareness Month

Broker News | October 2021 | Vol. 16 No. 10

November is Diabetes Month, a national observance designed to raise awareness about the risk factors, symptoms, types of diabetes, and the impact this disease has every day on millions of Americans. According to the American Diabetes Association®, Diabetes is the seventh...

Broker OE Content Now Available On The Sales Hub

Broker News | September 2021 | Vol. 16 No. 9

2022 Open Enrollment presentations are now available on Sales Hub. Some topics you can review include: Broker Commission Strategy for New Business Small Group Product Updates (Large group updates were released in June) 2022 Small and Large Group OE Updates from Sales...

Coming Soon! Online Billing For Brokers

Broker News | September 2021 | Vol. 16 No. 9

Earlier this year, we launched a new online bill pay tool for your groups. Soon, brokers will have access to online billing as well. Beginning in mid-October, brokers will be able to: Access all Group billing information under one login View Group invoices View...

Revised Waiting Period Policy

Broker News | September 2021 | Vol. 16 No. 9

We understand that employers may be looking for ways to position themselves more competitively in the current hiring environment. Health insurance is often a key component of employee benefit packages. From now until January 1, 2022, employers may change their new hire...

2022 Community Rated, Small Group Medicare Advantage Rates/Plans Now Available

Broker News | September 2021 | Vol. 16 No. 9

You can now view 2022 Community Rated, Small Group Medicare Advantage Plans on Blue on Demand. Blue on Demand allows you to compare plans and access your group's 2022 benefit summaries and rate sheets. Please contact your Group Medicare Sales Consultant with any...

Medicare Annual Notice Of Change Mailing

Broker News | September 2021 | Vol. 16 No. 9

This month, group benefit administrators with Medicare Blue Choice (HMO-POS) or Medicare Blue PPO (PPO) plans will be mailed an Annual Notice of Change (ANOC). The ANOC provides details on 2022 benefit changes. These members will receive their 2022 ANOC, along with their...

REMINDER: COBRA Subsidy Period Coming To An End

Broker News | September 2021 | Vol. 16 No. 9

The COBRA subsidy period will end on September 30, 2021. Groups will NOT need to take any action to return to standard billing in October and going forward. If a Group wants to terminate a COBRA enrollee, they will need to notify us. As a reminder, the American Rescue...

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Broker News | September 2021 | Vol. 16 No. 9

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month an annual campaign to increase awareness of the disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 255,000 women get breast cancer and 42,000 women die from the disease in the US every year. Here’s how...

Ready For Open Enrollment!

Broker News | September 2021 | Vol. 16 No. 9 - Special Issue

A new year means exciting new changes for your groups and their members—and even better coverage. Rates, plans, brochures, and product guides are all available now. What’s New for 2022 (PDF)  

Small Group Rates And Plans For 2022 Are Now Available!

Broker News | September 2021 | Vol. 16 No. 9 - Special Issue

Small Group plans and rates for 2022 are now available on Blue on Demand. Updated Open Enrollment tools, including At-A-Glance brochures and product guides are also available. Learn more and order open enrollment materials now. Now available: NEW! Blue Simplicity...

REMINDER: Large Group Open Enrollment Materials Now Available!

Broker News | September 2021 | Vol. 16 No. 9 - Special Issue

If you need printed copies of the 2022 Large Group Open Enrollment materials, you can order them at ExcellusForBusiness.com/GroupGuidesLG At-a-Glance Brochure Product Guide Just submit the quantity for each piece along with your shipping information and we’ll take...

Individual Metal Plans And Rates For 2022 Now Available!

Broker News | September 2021 | Vol. 16 No. 9 - Special Issue

Individual plans and rates for 2022 are now available on Blue on Demand. Updated Open Enrollment tools, including product placemats and product brochures will also be available. Now available: Individual Metal Level Medical Plans Blue Select Stand-Alone Dental Plans ...

COBRA Subsidy Period Coming To An End

Broker News | August 2021 | Vol. 16 No. 8

The COBRA subsidy period will end on September 30, 2021. Groups will NOT need to take any action to return to standard billing in October and going forward. If a Group wants to terminate a COBRA enrollee, they will need to notify us. As a reminder, the American Rescue...

Updates To Non-COVID Telehealth Benefits

Broker News | August 2021 | Vol. 16 No. 8

The New York State regulation to cover non-COVID telehealth benefits in full for fully insured members, ended on June 24, 2021. Excellus BCBS will continue to cover IN-NETWORK NON-COVID telehealth benefits for fully insured members in full through December 31, 2021. ...

Excellus BCBS Addresses Health Disparities In Upstate New York With New Health Equity Awards

Broker News | August 2021 | Vol. 16 No. 8

Recognizing structural racism as a driving force of health inequities and a barrier to its goal of health equity, Excellus BCBS invites nonprofit organizations to apply for Health Equity Awards of up to $30,000 each to help fund health and wellness programs that address...

Help Protect Employees From The Flu

Broker News | August 2021 | Vol. 16 No. 8

Every flu season is different, and influenza infection can affect people differently. Millions of people get the flu every year; many are hospitalized and some die from flu-related causes every year. Make plans to get vaccinated early in fall before flu season begins. The...

Coming In September: Virtual Training For 2022 Open Enrollment

Broker News | August 2021 | Vol. 16 No. 8

Once again this year, training for 2022 Open Enrollment will be virtual through Sales Hub. Your Sales Hub site is designed to support all your Open Enrollment training and presentation needs for the 2022 season and beyond. Training will go live in mid-September.  

Request For Missing Social Security Numbers

Broker News | August 2021 | Vol. 16 No. 8

Under the Affordable Care Act, the Internal Revenue Service requires health insurers to request missing subscriber and dependent Social Security numbers from their members. In September, we will send Social Security number request letters to individuals who had health...

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...

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