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Important Update on Blue Simplicity℠

Broker News | September 2020 | Vol. 15 No. 9 - Special Issue

Blue Simplicity brings together the simplicity and predictability of a copay plan—without the higher premiums. This innovative new plan has been pending DFS approval, and we have learned that it will not be approved for fully insured groups at this time. Blue Simplicity...

Small Group Rates and Plans for 2021 now Available!

Broker News | September 2020 | Vol. 15 No. 9 - Special Issue

Small Group plans and rates for 2021 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:   SimplyBlue...

NEW Individual Standalone Dental Plans for 2021 now Available!

Broker News | September 2020 | Vol. 15 No. 9 - Special Issue

Introducing a new stand-alone dental plan designed specifically for the individual market. This new dental offering has 2 plan choices: Blue Select Family Dental Blue Select Premier Dental Both plans offer adult/family coverage Both plans feature...

Individual Metal Plans and Rates for 2021 now Available!

Broker News | September 2020 | Vol. 15 No. 9 - Special Issue

Individual plans and rates for 2021 are now available on Blue on Demand. Updated Open Enrollment tools, including Product Placemats and Product Brochures are also available.  2021 Plan Highlights:  NEW Destination 65 Gold and Silver Plans  Modeled after a...

Open Enrollment Update

Broker News | September 2020 | Vol. 15 No. 9 - Special Issue

The New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) has decided not to approve our new Blue Simplicity Gold product in the Small Group portfolio for the 2021 plan year. Therefore, we are unable to offer Blue Simplicity Gold for 2021. We will continue to work with...

2021 Small Group Dental Updates

Broker News | September 2020 | Vol. 15 No. 9 - Special Issue

No Dental Rate Increases for 2021  The ability to offer our customers quality, affordable Medical and Dental coverage during these difficult times is one of our top priorities. As a result, we have made the decision not to impose rate increases on our Pooled...

Smile Saver Discontinuance

Broker News | September 2020 | Vol. 15 No. 9 - Special Issue

As a reminder, all groups currently enrolled in a Small Group Pooled Smile Saver Package will be converted to the closest matching Dental Blue package on their 2021 renewal date. A copy of the discontinuance letters to both your groups and their members can be found here....

Request for Missing Social Security Numbers

Broker News | September 2020 | Vol. 15 No. 9 - Special Issue

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 August, we sent Social Security number request letters to individuals who had health coverage at...

Helpful Guidelines As New York Goes Back to Work

Broker News | August 2020 | Vol. 15 No. 8

As more businesses, schools and other organizations continue to reopen, reminding everyone of important safety measures is more important than ever. That’s why we’ve pulled together a toolkit with resources to help you provide a safer and healthier work environment. ...

Simplified AGIF Coming in September

Broker News | August 2020 | Vol. 15 No. 8

We’ve received feedback from brokers and groups letting us know that our Annual Group Information Form (AGIF) is too long and overly complex. We listened and are pleased to let you know a shorter, simpler version of both the web and paper versions will be available by...

Mini-COBRA Timeframe Extension Information

Broker News | August 2020 | Vol. 15 No. 8

The recent Department of Labor (DOL) regulation requiring COBRA timeframe extensions DOES NOT apply to mini-COBRA groups. COBRA regulations state that an employer qualifies as mini-COBRA if they employ fewer than 20 employees on at least 50 percent of the employer’s...

2021 Large Group Product Updates

Broker News | July 2020 | Vol. 15 No. 7

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

Celebrate Wealth of Health...Virtually

Broker News | May 2020 | Vol. 15 No. 5 - Special Issue

Each year in the Rochester market, we partner with the Rochester Business Journal to honor area employers who promote health and wellness in the workplace. This year, finalists will be celebrated through a new virtual format using multimedia storytelling. The event...

Special Enrollment Period Extended to June 15

Broker News | May 2020 | Vol. 15 No. 5 - Special Issue

The Special Enrollment Period for enrolling in Qualified Health Plans has been extended through June 15, 2020. Individuals can enroll between May 16 and June 15, and their coverage will begin June 1, or July 1. Our customer care advocates can assist with any questions on...

Individual & Small Group – NYS Prior Approval of Rate Changes

Broker News | May 2020 | Vol. 15 No. 5 - Special Issue

We know the focus for everyone the past two months has been the coronavirus pandemic. And now, our attention is turning to efforts to reopen businesses in accordance with state and local guidelines. While all of this is happening, there are still mandates set by New York...

COVID-19 Pharmacy Update

Broker News | April 2020 | Vol. 15 No. 4 - Special Issue

Our pharmacy team has been closely monitoring the supply of medications that are available during the COVID-19 outbreak. We’re taking several actions to ensure our members have access to clinically appropriate medications.  Providing early refill overrides....

Binder Checks No Longer Required For Small Groups Beginning June 1

Broker News | April 2020 | Vol. 15 No. 4 - Special Issue

While much of our attention is committed to COVID-19, there are of course day-to-day activities and operations on which we remain laser focused.  One of these initiatives is our review of the feedback that comes from our broker community and how we can make it...

Don’t Fall For Fraud During COVID-19 Fight

Broker News | April 2020 | Vol. 15 No. 4 - Special Issue

Please remind your groups to be aware that there are various scams and fraudulent activities that can occur during this difficult time. As is often the case, a national and global emergency brings out people who prey upon the fears and vulnerabilities of others—especially...

Telemedicine Visits Covered At No Cost To Members

Broker News | April 2020 | Vol. 15 No. 4 - Special Issue

A reminder for your groups; telemedicine visits are being covered at no cost to members for 90 days beginning with NYS’s State of Emergency issued on March 13, 2020. The purpose is to help alleviate the burden on provider offices, urgent care centers and hospitals as a...

Help For Our Small Groups

Broker News | April 2020 | Vol. 15 No. 4 - Special Issue

In these uncertain times, we’re doing everything we can to fulfill our corporate mission: to provide the people in the communities we serve with access to high quality, affordable health care. One way we can help is by providing some financial relief for those small...

Finding Coverage During Job Loss

Broker News | April 2020 | Vol. 15 No. 4 - Special Issue

We’re all facing an uncertain future, but for many employer groups this is a particularly anxious time. We have resources for groups and members, including those members who may be facing job loss and the loss of their employer-sponsored health insurance.  There are...

Cost Relief Available With Mid-Year Plan Changes For Groups

Broker News | April 2020 | Vol. 15 No. 4 - Special Issue

Excellus BCBS wants to ensure as many of our group members as possible can maintain their health insurance benefits. Through June 1, 2020, we are allowing mid-year plan changes to allow for lower cost employer and employee plans to accommodate the COVID-19 impacts on both...

Excellus BlueCross BlueShield Waives COVID-19 Cost Sharing

Broker News | April 2020 | Vol. 15 No. 4 - Special Issue

Excellus BCBS will waive out of pocket costs for COVID-19 medical testing, diagnosis and treatment for its fully insured employer groups, individual market qualified health plans and Medicare Advantage members for the next 60 days.  This waives the member’s...

Can the CARES Act Help a Small Business You Know?

Broker News | April 2020 | Vol. 15 No. 4 - Special Issue

We’re all continuing to navigate these unchartered waters while striving to find our new normal. Last week, the Federal government signed a stimulus package to help businesses with 500 or fewer employees to stay afloat as the country continues to battle the COVID-19...

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources

Broker News | March 2020 | Vol. 15 No. 3 - Special Issue

During these uncertain and challenging times, the Excellus BCBS team is here to help provide access to critical resources to support you, our employers, their businesses and employees. If your employer groups need assistance, the Small Business Administration (SBA) has...

Protecting the Health of Our Communities

Broker News | March 2020 | Vol. 15 No. 3

The coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic is disrupting life for everyone as our communities battle this deadly virus. Those being hit hardest include many small businesses around the country and in our own communities, and many we insure. We have options for those employers who...

Our Sales Representatives Are Here to Help

Broker News | March 2020 | Vol. 15 No. 3

If an employer has contacted you and needs additional information on health insurance options for employees who have been laid off, please contact your account representative. Our staff is working remotely, but we are available to meet with you and your group by phone or...

We're All In This Together

Broker News | March 2020 | Vol. 15 No. 3 - Special Issue

To Our Valued Brokers: These are anxious and unsettling times. We’re bombarded by wall-to-wall news and around-the-clock social media about coronavirus (COVID-19) – and the impact on the economy. I want you to know that the Health Plan is well prepared and equipped to...

Pending Federal Regulations on COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Member Cost Share

Broker News | March 2020 | Vol. 15 No. 3 - Special Issue

The coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic is disrupting life for everyone as our communities battle this deadly virus.  The number of confirmed coronavirus cases continues to grow in New York state and across the country. New York state is requiring all insured health...

Update On COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Broker News | March 2020 | Vol. 15 No. 3 - Special Issue

We know there are many ongoing questions regarding coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and how it impacts everything from your businesses, your groups and even your own families. Please know that we have an internal team dedicated to researching and vetting the most...

2020 Broker Guide: Rising to the Challenge to Best Serve Your Clients

Broker News | February 2020 | Vol. 15 No. 2

The 2020 Broker Guide is now available and includes information on programs and tools that demonstrate our commitment to helping you better serve your clients and grow your business. New this year: Commissions on all new and existing Medicare Advantage Group plans (prior...

What Do You Want to Know?

Broker News | February 2020 | Vol. 15 No. 2

As your health insurance partner, we want to keep you informed on the most important matters that effect you. That’s why we would like to provide educational webinars throughout 2020. Because you’re an important partner in our business, we want to hear from you. Please...

Wealth of Health 2020 - Nomination Deadline is March 13

Broker News | February 2020 | Vol. 15 No. 2

Each year, Excellus BCBS and the Rochester Business Journal (RBJ) honor Rochester area employers who promote health and wellness in the workplace. Visit the RBJ’s website for more information. And save the date for the event: Wednesday, June 10 7:30 a.m. Registration...

Finding a Doctor and Comparing Costs Just Got Easier

Broker News | February 2020 | Vol. 15 No. 2

Deliver added transparency to costs and coverage with a new online feature. Our new-and-improved online search tool makes it easy to estimate medical costs and find local and national providers. Groups and employees get the online experience they expect, with the ability...

Committed to Lowering the Cost of Select Generic Drugs

Broker News | February 2020 | Vol. 15 No. 2

The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA), 18 independent and locally-operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) companies—including Excellus BCBS—and Civica recently announced their partnership to create a new subsidiary dedicated to lowering the cost of select...

Update on 1095-B Form for Tax Season

Broker News | January 2020 | Vol. 15 No. 1

Please inform your groups; health insurers—including Excellus BCBS—will no longer be 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, beginning this year. ...

Q2 Small Group Rates & Brochures Available on Blue on Demand

Broker News | January 2020 | Vol. 15 No. 1

Use Blue on Demand to view our SimplyBlue Plus medical plan options, rates and enrollment forms for small businesses of 100 or fewer full-time equivalent employees: Access Blue on Demand (Login Required)   Print versions of the 2020 Excellus SimplyBlue Plus...

New Year, New Mandates

Broker News | January 2020 | Vol. 15 No. 1

The beginning of a new year also means state mandated changes to some of our plans. The Healthy NY wage level for small employers is now in line with federal poverty guidelines. Read more about the increase and eligibility criteria. NYS now requires insurers to cover...

Join Us March 12 for New Broker Training

Broker News | January 2020 | Vol. 15 No. 1

In-person training sessions for newly appointed brokers and producers are held twice a year; one in the spring and another in the summer before open enrollment. Our first training session of the year is scheduled for: Thursday, March 12, 9:00 am. to 4:00 p.m. ...

Flu Season Going Strong

Broker News | January 2020 | Vol. 15 No. 1

Flu season runs through May—so there's still time for employees to get the flu vaccine. As of November 30, 2019, New York state logged 3,158 confirmed cases of the flu, compared to 1,462 confirmed cases at this time last year. There is still time to get your flu Shot....

Holiday Wishes and Happy New Year!

Broker News | December 2019 | Vol. 14 No. 12

2019 is coming to a close, and we can’t let it slip by without thanking you for your commitment and dedication to our shared clients. Knowing our members can rely on you for thoughtful insight and valuable information as they navigate their health care options is what...

We’re Looking for Feedback on Our Broker Website

Broker News | December 2019 | Vol. 14 No. 12

It’s been a few months since the redesign of our broker website. We would appreciate it if you could take a few minutes to give us some feedback about your experience using the site. The survey should take five minutes or less to complete. We value your feedback, and your...

Member Webinars - "Making the Most of Your Health Plan"

Broker News | December 2019 | Vol. 14 No. 12

Do you have new groups or groups that need a refresh on the wellness tools and resources available to them within their health plan coverage? Our Workplace Wellness & Telemedicine team will host live monthly webinars for members in 2020.  "Making the Most of...

Important Reminders for HealthyRewards

Broker News | December 2019 | Vol. 14 No. 12

The end of the calendar year also means the end of the plan year for many members. Please have your groups keep in mind these important deadlines about HealthyRewards if this is the end of their plan year. For members renewing their HealthyRewards plan (subscriber ID not...

Direct Pay/Individual Market Collateral Now Available

Broker News | December 2019 | Vol. 14 No. 12

Placemats and brochures for the 2020 direct pay portfolio are now available on Blue On Demand. In Blue On Demand, click the link for the Product Placemats (PDF) or Product Brochures (PDF) under the Individual Metal Level Plans heading.  Blue On Demand - Broker Login

Annual Fall Broker Open Enrollment Session

Broker News | August 2019 | Vol. 14 No. 8

Our Annual Fall Broker OE session will once again be held via live stream.  The topics presented will be similar to what has been presented in the past (i.e. product changes, wellness and operational updates).  At the end of the last presentation, we will allow...

Individual & Small Group Plans, Rates and Product Updates for 2020

Broker News | August 2019 | Vol. 14 No. 8

Individual & Small Group plans and rates for 2020 will be available on Blue on Demand in early September, tentatively the week of the 9th. Updated Open Enrollment tools, including At-A-Glance Brochures and Product Guides will also be available. Good news—no...

A Valuable New Tool to Make You a More Valuable Partner

Broker News | August 2019 | Vol. 14 No. 8

You’re always looking for new ways to add value to your groups. We’re always looking for new ways to help you deliver it. That’s why we’re introducing the Wellframe® app, a free and convenient way for our Care Managers to provide confidential, text-based, one-on-one...

Annual Notice of Change (ANOC) Letters

Broker News | August 2019 | Vol. 14 No. 8

Coming soon, 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 2020 benefit changes. Your members will receive their 2020 ANOC, along with...

Department of Financial Services (DFS) Guidance Regarding Rate Guarantees and New Business Discounts

Broker News | August 2019 | Vol. 14 No. 8 - Special Issue

Because the DFS guidance may impact your business with us, we’d like to provide some additional information:  The guidance only applies to non-Medicare, comprehensive, fully insured medical commercial products.  The guidance prohibits the application of rate...

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