News from the Blues

News from the Blues

News from the Blues

March 11, 2020 | Group | In the Community

News from the Blues

All Markets

News from the Blues
*COVID-19 Coverage Information for Employers and Members
We are closely monitoring the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. We are committed to helping our employer customers and members stay informed and educated about COVID-19 and assisting those who might be affected.

With regard to treatment for COVID-19, our plans cover medically necessary health benefits, including physician services, hospitalization and emergency services consistent with the terms of the member’s benefit plan. Members should always call the number on their ID card for answers to their specific benefit questions.

For diagnostic testing for COVID-19, please note the following coverage information.

Coverage for fully insured members: Effective immediately for all fully insured members, for testing to diagnose COVID-19 when medically necessary and consistent with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance:
  • No prior authorization needed
  • No member copays or deductibles

The same coverage above applies to HSA qualified high-deductible health plans, pursuant to the IRS notice on COVID-19 Leaving site icon issued March 11, 2020.

Coverage for self-insured and split-funded* members: Self-insured and split-funded employers must opt in to offer their employees the testing to diagnose COVID-19 when medically necessary and consistent with CDC guidance with:

  • No prior authorization needed
  • No member copays or deductibles

Action needed: Self-insured and split-funded groups must communicate their agreement to opt in by emailing their account executive or broker to activate this coverage. These groups must opt in by March 31, 2020.

There’s more: Review the health risk of COVID-19, a member flier to share with clients and CDC resources to guide employer groups.

*A split-funded group self-insures a portion of their benefits and a portion is premium.

News from the Blues

*Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois Responds to
COVID-19 with Expanded Telehealth Program

We are improving access to care for members by expanding the telehealth “virtual visits” program in the wake of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

“We’re committed to helping our members, employer customers and our own employees stay informed about COVID-19 and assisting those who may be affected,” said Steve Hamman, president of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL). “To give our members flexible options to access care, which can help reduce the spread of serious infections, we are expanding our telehealth coverage in Illinois.”

Effective March 10, 2020, we began covering telehealth “virtual” visits with in-network Illinois providers for eligible BCBSIL PPO and Blue Choice members. This means qualified members whose own provider offers the telehealth* service will now have that benefit covered as a regular office visit.

This coverage benefit is in addition to the telehealth benefits currently offered to eligible members by MDLIVE® Leaving site icon. MDLIVE is a vendor that offers telehealth by independently contracted board-certified doctors.

Covered telehealth visits include two-way, live interactive telephone communication and online digital consultations that allow concerned members to connect with their physicians while reducing the risk of exposure to contagious viruses or further illness.

Members with questions about their benefits should call the number on their member BCBSIL ID Card.

*Telehealth benefits will continue to be evaluated over time by BCBSIL to help ensure appropriate range and scope.

News from the Blues


News from the Blues

*Review Change for BAESM Auto Draft Process

For fully insured groups with premium bills: Groups using the autopay option in Blue Access for EmployersSM (BAE) will see a change beginning with the next billing cycle – either March 15 or April 1.

What’s new: Any new membership adjustments (enrollments, cancellations, product changes, etc.), will not be reflected in the current auto draft. Any membership changes entered after the group’s last bill will appear on the next billing statement. These payments and changes are shown on the Changes Since Last Bill option.

Why it matters: This change is being made to reduce processing time and decrease billing adjustments (reconciling the amount due).

What’s the same: We will continue to submit the ACH autopayment two business days prior to the due date that appears on the bill. The amount submitted will be the amount due on the most recent bill, plus or minus any changes due to payments or financial adjustments received since the most recent bill was issued.

Questions? Contact Accounts Receivable toll free at 855-267-0215.

News from the Blues
Help Your Groups Stay Current on Their Premium/Payments
Our premium/payment addresses changed in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Why it matters: Many groups are still submitting their payments to the old addresses. Time is running out on the forwarding service. To avoid delays and delinquencies, please ensure that your groups know about our new addresses for:
  • Paper-billed groups
  • ASO/self-funded accounts

To do: Remind your clients about the new addresses and review helpful tips.

News from the Blues

*Take Away the Stress of Enrolling Employees with Our Benefit Administration Solution

If your clients want to offer their employees a guided enrollment experience and ease their HR administrative burden, our partnership with Empyrean Benefit Solutions – designed for groups with 151 or more employees – can help.

How it works: This interactive benefit administration and enrollment experience combines intuitive reports and ongoing account support.

Learn more: Attend the March 26 webinar about this total package for benefit management and find out about available technology credits, what separates our solution from the competition and implementation timelines.

News from the Blues

New Women’s and Family Health Product Offers Integrated Maternity Management

Today’s consumers demand mobile solutions that deliver real-time, personalized guidance. That’s especially true when it comes to fertility, pregnancy and parenting.

What’s new: All three services are packaged in our Women’s and Family Health product. Offering an integrated approach into parenthood for maternity management, the program covers pre-pregnancy to delivery to ongoing parenting support. The product is available to 151+ fully insured and ASO groups.

Services included: The program features education, coaching and maternity management solutions that can improve clinical outcomes and result in cost savings. Digital tools and resources allow members to self-manage, while additional support is available. High-risk pregnancies are quickly identified to provide help sooner.

The details: Learn more about what Women’s and Family Health provides.

News from the Blues

Preview Coming

See next week’s newsletter to preview the featured articles in the March BlueVISION newsletter for large and national accounts. Look for articles about our Wellbeing Management solution results and program enhancements and GeoBlue® products for global travelers.
News from the Blues

In the Community

News from the Blues

*Expanding Access to Prenatal Care with Centering Healthcare Institute

Through a $1.5 million grant over three years, our company is supporting the transformation of care and expanding access to Centering Healthcare Institute’s (CHI) Leaving site icon CenteringPregnancy. This group prenatal care model provides education, care and social support for expectant mothers and babies.

Why it matters: The U.S. has the highest maternal and infant mortality rates among developed countries. The statistics get worse for women of color, as well as pregnant women and new mothers who are low income or live in remote communities. Our company is working to close the gap in health disparities and improve maternal and infant birth outcomes in our communities.

Will it work? Evidence Leaving site icon shows CHI's CenteringPregnancy Leaving site icon program can help. It reduces costs, improves health outcomes for mothers and babies and reduces racial health disparities. This includes lowering the risk of preterm births by 33% to 47%, reducing low birth weights, increasing rates of breastfeeding and increasing postpartum depression screening.  

The big picture: CenteringPregnancy provides an alternative to traditional one-on-one care, facilitating prenatal care in a group setting to 30 Federally Qualified Health Centers and Indian Health Services across the five states our company serves. Go deeper.

News from the Blues
Help Small Group Renewal Kit; Due Dates for Renewal Paperwork
Check out our Small Group (1-50) Renewal Kit for all the tips, tools, forms, paperwork deadlines and product information you need to renew your small groups.
Next deadlines:
Help Use Convenient One-stop Service Center on Blue Access for ProducersSM
You can easily manage all these functions when you log in to Blue Access for Producers and click the Producer Services link:
  • Commission statements, schedules and inquiries
  • Producer of Record (POR) updates
  • SEP training affirmation
  • Electronic Funds Transfer updates

View your next commission statement: Your Feb. 29, 2020, statement is scheduled for release the week ending March 20.

News from the Blues

*This article, or a similar version, is being shared with employer groups in their BlueVISION newsletter.

News from the Blues

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Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, a Division of Health Care Service Corporation, a Mutual Legal Reserve Company, an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association

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