Broker Blasts

Broker Blasts

3/15/2018 - Reminder - Group Cutoff Change

Dear Broker,

The cutoff dates for group business is now 15 days prior to the effective date. This change will allow us to provide exceptional customer service to all members starting on the first day of coverage.

This change takes effect for May 1, 2018 for both new and renewing groups. We will send an email communication to each of your renewing group administrators so they are aware of this change. 

Completed paperwork…

  • Must be submitted by 5 p.m., complete and accurate
  • If the 15th day falls on a weekend or holiday, cut-off is the following business day
  • Applies to all small, medium and large groups (both fully insured and self-funded)

Note: This change does not impact new hires.

More Information

For your convenience, we've listed the due dates for the next year.

EFFECTIVE DATE

MATERIALS DUE BY 5 P.M. ON:

May 1, 2018

April 16, 2018

June 1, 2018

May 17, 2018

July 1, 2018

June 15, 2018

August 1, 2018

July 17, 2018

September 1, 2018

August 17, 2018

October 1, 2018

September 17, 2018

November 1, 2018

October 17, 2018

December 1, 2018

November 16, 2018

January 1, 2019

December 17, 2018

February 1, 2019

January 17, 2019

March 1, 2019

February 14, 2019

April 1, 2019

March 17, 2019

May 1, 2019

April 16, 2019

Contact

If you have any questions, please reach out to us at Broker Relations & Support.

855-365-2345
brokerrelations@bcidaho.com

2/14/2018 - Blue Cross of Idaho Expands Choices, Serving More Idahoans

Blue Cross of Idaho is proud to support Governor Otter’s executive order and the Department of Insurance’s guidelines allowing the introduction of state-based health insurance plans to the people of Idaho. Blue Cross of Idaho is releasing 5 new state-based products, in addition to current plans offered under the Affordable Care Act. The plans will be available in early March for coverage effective April 1, 2018.

Blue Cross of Idaho’s new state-based plans will give Idahoans:

  • Additional choices in healthcare coverage
  • Lower cost options
  • Peace of mind for those concerned about the uncertainty of their health insurance today

Freedom Blue plans are tailored for consumers looking for a health insurance plan that fits their individual health needs with significant cost-savings. Together, we are creating a way for middle-class Idahoans who are not covered by an employer-sponsored plan to choose an affordable health plan for themselves and their families.

In the next few days, you will receive an email invitation to attend a webinar where you will hear the details of these new plans.

The Blue Cross of Idaho team is looking forward to working collaboratively with you as we provide the people of Idaho the choices in health insurance coverage they have been asking for … and we are now providing. We take great pride in providing your clients the best choices for healthcare coverage.

1/15/2018 - Change to Group Application Cut-Off

Dear Broker,

Blue Cross of Idaho shares the same objective that you do – to provide our mutual customers an exceptional customer experience from the first day they are enrolled in coverage.

Our current application cut-off date, coupled with last minute and incomplete application submissions, is resulting in members not having a good experience or access to their coverage on time.

To promote a better customer experience, we are adjusting our application cut-off date.

Change to Group Application Cut-Off

Starting with May 1, 2018 effective dates, all group paperwork must be:

  • Received 15 days in advance of the effective date
    • Submitted by 5p.m.
    • If the 15 is a weekend or holiday, cut-off is the first preceding business day
  • Complete and accurate
  • This change applies to all small, medium, and large groups both fully insured and self-funded

EXAMPLE: Assumes all paperwork is complete and accurate

  • May 1, 2018 effective date: Cut-off April 16, 2018
  • October 1, 2018 effective date: Cut-off September 17, 2018 (September 15 is a Saturday)

We realize improvements are needed for the application submission process for you, our broker partners. Blue Cross of Idaho is working on an improved process and will communicate the improvements in the near future.

Sincerely,

Broker Relations
Blue Cross of Idaho

1/8/2018 - January Binder Payment Extension & APTC Changes

Dear Broker,

January Premium Due Date Extension

Online Payment Portal Issues

We experienced issues with the Blue Cross of Idaho online payment portals and unfortunately, this caused problems for some of your individual QHP clients.

Blue Cross of Idaho Correction

The payment portal issues are resolved, and we’ve extended the deadline for individual QHP binder payments through January 15, 2018.

Broker/Member Options

January binder payments can be made by:

  1. Customer Service – Select the payment option in the Interactive Voice Recognition (IVR)
  2. Call 855-230-6862
  3. No hold times
  4. Member ID or Social Security Number required
  5. Payment accepted by e-check, credit/debit card
  • YourHealthIdaho (YHI) payment redirect to Blue Cross of Idaho
    1. Have your client login to their Idalink account at yourhealthidaho.org and select the payment option
    2. Payment accepted by e-check, credit/debit card
  • Blue Cross of Idaho Member PortalCurrent renewing members can log in to the member portal and pay online at members.bcidaho.com
    1. Payment accepted by e-check, credit/debit card
  • Walk in to any sales office
    1. Payment accepted by e-check, credit/debit card or cash

We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your continued partnership.

RE: Individual change in APTC & Individual Payments

DHW Recalculation of APTC

Some of your clients saw recent APTC changes that increased their monthly premiums. Blue Cross of Idaho will not automatically cancel coverage due to an APTC change. Below outlines how we consider premium increases.

Blue Cross of Idaho Billing Methodology

Below lists each scenario and how additional premiums are considered.

New Individual QHP Enrollment

Pre-effectuated members:

  • A new letter will generate
  • We allow additional 15 days from date on the letter to pay the first month’s premium

Effectuated members:

  • Members billed by monthly statement – February bills generated on January 4 and included the additional amount
    • If the change is processed after, February statements will be rebilled
  • ACH – February draft will include any outstanding January balance due

Renewing Individual QHP Members

ACH members:

  • If APTC changes are made prior to the ACH draw date, the adjusted amount will draft
  • If the APTC changes are made after the ACH draft bills, the additional premium will be included with February draft

Members billed by monthly statement:

  • When APTC is processed, a new bill will generate
    • If the member had APTC in December, they have a grace period and can pay the balance in February
    • If they did not have an APTC in December, they need to pay by January 15

Please contact customer service or your local sales representative with any questions.

Sincerely,

Broker Relations
Blue Cross of Idaho

12/22 - Incomplete and/or Inaccurate Group Application Information for 1/1/2018

Dear Broker,

Current Situation
The on-time 1/1/18 implementation of group applications are at risk due to a high volume of incomplete and/or inaccurate group application paperwork. Despite increased staffing, this is creating rework and redundancy that is slowing down processing. This is putting effective dates at risk for your customers; even those whose applications are complete and accurate.

BCI Action Plan

  • Complete enrollment and/or renewal paperwork is prioritized for implementation.
  • Incomplete/inaccurate applications will be deprioritized for completion so the complete group applications can be entered.

Broker Call to Action

  • If you have a group pending, please review your paperwork again and verify the information is accurate and complete.
  • If there is missing, incomplete, or inaccurate information, immediately contact your service rep and correct the information.

Examples of Incomplete/Inaccurate Information Causing Backlog:

  • Missing applications
  • Quote census must match applications submitted
    • Employer written census document must match paperwork (i.e. waivers, applications)
  • Indicate employee status on SUTA or payroll documents
  • Answer all questions on the Group Questionnaire
  • Changing membership
    • Adds/removes causing updated pricing/UW
  • Missing member data on applications
  • Unanswered/incomplete health questions

You may receive a call from your Sales Consultant or other Blue Cross of Idaho staff to encourage you to review your group’s application information to ensure accuracy and completion. Please take this opportunity to ensure the group receives the timely implementation they have contracted for.

ReminderComplete paperwork must be received no later than 1-8-18 for any new or renewing group requesting a 1-1-18 effective date.

Sincerely,

Broker Relations
Blue Cross of Idaho

12/12/2017 - Open Enrollment deadline approaching

Dear Broker,

As you know, Open Enrollment Period (OEP) ends December 15, 2017 for Individual QHP.

We just received clarifying information from the Department of Insurance that we can take off-exchange applications dated no later than December 22, 2017. This differs from the information we communicated to you at the fall broker meetings, email blasts and phone calls over last several months.

The updated timeline for off-exchange applications is:

  • December 15, 2017 is the last day of OEP for Individual QHP sales for both on-exchange and off-exchange business
  • We cannot accept off-exchange applications that are dated later than December 22, 2017

We understand the impact of receiving this information this late during OEP and sincerely apologize for the inconvenience and timing.

Sincerely,
Broker Relations
Blue Cross of Idaho

11/20/17 - New Rates are out!

NEW RATES ARE OUT! The 2018 monthly rates for Medicare Supplement plans are posted! Visit our Blue Cross of Idaho Medicare section of the broker site at brokers.bcidaho.com or select this link for the Idaho Care Plus rates.

We are updating the 2018 Idaho Care Plus brochure and application. As benefits remain the same, please continue to use the 2017 version until we notify you that new version is available.

11/07/17 - 2018 Business Updates

Dear Broker,

Below is an outline of topics included in this email blast. This information is very important depending on the line of business you sell. Please take a moment to review and share with your colleagues as we are fielding a lot of questions.

1. ALL BUSINESS LINES

    a. Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) in Chrome
    b. 2018 HSA Preventive Drug List and the 2018 Preventive Care Benefits (non-grandfathered) PDF

2. GROUP BUSINESS INFORMATION

    a. Small Group Applications
    b. Excel export is now working

3. INDIVIDUAL BUSINESS INFORMATION

    a. Individual QHP housekeeping details
    b. Commission changes

4. MEDICARE ADVANTAGE CERTIFICATION

    a. Re-open MA certification


1. ALL BUSINESS LINES

a. Summary of Benefits and Coverage
The PDFs of the sample Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) for Individual and Small Group QHPs are not compatible with Google Chrome. Please use a different browser to open the PDFs of the SBCs.

To access Individual and Small Group SBCs, select this link or go to brokers.bcidaho.com and under Just for Brokers, select the Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) link.

b. 2018 HSA Preventive Drug List and the 2018 Preventive Care Benefits (non-grandfathered) PDF
The The 2018 HSA Preventive Drug List and the 2018 Preventive Care Benefits (non-grandfathered) PDFs are now available under Just for Brokers on brokers.bcidaho.com. Please view and print the information at your convenience. These forms are not available for order.


2. GROUP BUSINESS INFORMATION

a. Small Group Applications
Blue Cross of Idaho recently updated and filed the 2018 Small Group Application Coversheet with the Idaho Department of Insurance. If you have a group that is ready to sell, please use the 2017 Idaho Universal Application Coversheet until the 2018 version is approved.

b. Group Quoting – Excel Output
The Excel output for the current Small Group Quoting is now functional for quoting your 2018 group quotes.


3. INDIVIDUAL BUSINESS INFORMATION

a. Individual QHP Housekeeping Details
Attached is a PDF is the slide deck from the November 1, 2018 Individual QHP Webinar.

We are fielding a lot of questions and most are answered there. The webinar includes useful information and last-minute details you need for selling Individual business this year. Please take a couple minutes and review the information.

b. Commission Changes
2018 Individual QHP for all metallic and catastrophic levels will increase from $11.50 to $12. Commissions cap at three dependents younger than age 21. This change does not impact dental or Short Term PPO, and there are no changes to other business lines or bonus structures at this time. The commission brochure will be updated and posted to the broker portal shortly.


4. MEDICARE ADVANTAGE (MA) CERTIFICATION

a. Certification is Re-Open
Did you miss the certification window for Medicare Advantage (MA) this year? If so, are you still interested in certifying?

We know that we have great products available for 2018, so we’ve decided to re-open MA certification.

Blue Cross of Idaho requires CMS certification and Blue Cross of Idaho product training to sell our Medicare Advantage business. You must complete the:

  1. CMS training and final exam. (You can use Pinpoint, Gorman or AHIP)
  2. Blue Cross of Idaho MA product training, located on the Online Learning Center (OLC)

Once complete, we’ll send you the Blue Cross of Idaho Medicare Advantage Independent Producers Agreement that you must sign and return for certification to be considered complete.

If you are interested, please contact mabrokerrelations@bcidaho.com for more information.

We know it’s a busy time of year for you, and we appreciate you taking the time to review this important information.

Sincerely,

Broker Relations
Blue Cross of Idaho

10/11/17 - Urgent Alert regarding enrollment kits

Dear Broker,

It was brought to our attention that some Area 2 2018 Medicare Advantage Enrollment kits contain Area 1 applications.  If you’ve received any Area 2 kits, please review the contents and verify the application is correct for your area.

If your enrollment kits  contain the incorrect application, please notify mabrokerrelations@bcidaho.com and we will promptly send a replacement order. Additionally, we’ve attached a PDF of the Area 2 application for your convenience.

If you have already provided kits to prospective clients, please follow up with them to make sure they received the correct application.

We apologize for the inconvenience. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Lynette Gaskell
Medicare Advantage Broker Relation Sr. Specialist

10/5/17 - 2018 Small Group Quoting, Sales Lit, Individual Enrollment Q&A, Broker Renewal Reports

Dear Broker,

2018 Small Group Quoting

2018 Small Group QHP will be ready for quoting no later than Monday, October 16, 2017. While you can access quoting through the Group Quoting System at brokers.bcidaho.com, you will soon, be able to run your small group quotes using our new EZ Quote group quoting tool.

We are in the process of testing the EZ Quote, which will replace the current group quoting system. We are doing additional testing that focuses on data security to protect PHI and broker-specific data.

We will release EZ Quote as soon as we complete our testing to ensure the quality and experience meets your needs. Keep an eye out for updates and training opportunities as we draw closer to our roll-out date.

2018 Sales Literature

Last week, we posted PDF files of the 2018 Small Group and Individual Sales Literature to brokers.bcidaho.com for you to view and print.

Today, the 2018 Small Group Product Plan Guide is available to order on the broker portal, post login, by selecting Forms and Documents then Order Broker Supplies.

A limited supply of the 2018 Individual Sales Literature will be available to order by Friday, October 6, 2017. Please only order what you need. We expect to receive the full supply in the next couple weeks.

2018 Individual Enrollment Q&A

We are now scheduling webinars to help you learn everything you need to successfully sell Blue Cross of Idaho individual products during Open Enrollment.

Please send any questions and/or topics that you want covered to lisa.wilson@bcidaho.com.

2018 QHP Broker Renewal Reports

The Small Group broker renewal reports will be mailed no later than the beginning of next week, and your Individual broker renewals reports will be mailed by the end of the same week.

The Individual broker reports include your clients’:

  • Name, address, phone number
  • 2017 product, premium, APTC and balance
  • 2018 product and premium (Blue Cross of Idaho has not received 2018 APTC or CSRs)

Please watch your mail for your reports.

Contact Information

We appreciate our continued partnership and look forward to a successful 2018. We want to ensure you get your questions answered in a timely manner. Please refer to the contact list below to direct your inquiries.

Sales Inquiries

Individual and group sales, including short term and dental

Sales Office 800-365-2345
Individual support iss@bcidaho.com
Group support groupsales@bcidaho.com
Existing group applications groupapps@bcidaho.com

Customer Service

Premium, billing, claim or benefit questions

Broker Customer Service 866-675-1848
Member Customer Service 800-627-1188

Broker Relations

Broker training, appointments and escalated inquiries

Broker Relations & Support 855-659-9159
brokerrelations@bcidaho.com

Sincerely,
Broker Relations

10/02/17 - 2018 Individual QHP Rates Available

The 2018 Individual QHP rates are posted brokers.bcidaho.com. The Idaho Department of Insurance changed the rating regions for the QHP products. As a result, the number of your region may be different for 2018.

Shoppers.bcidaho.com is updated with an overview of our 2018 plans, network choices and rate sheets. Individual shoppers can access the quoting tools by October 7, 2017.

Contact Reminder

We want to ensure you get your questions answered in a timely manner. Please refer to the contact list below to direct your inquiries.

Sales Inquiries

Individual and group sales, including short term and dental

Sales Office 800-365-2345
Individual support iss@bcidaho.com
Group support groupsales@bcidaho.com
Existing group applications groupapps@bcidaho.com

Customer Service

Premium, billing, claim or benefit questions

Broker Customer Service 866-675-1848
Member Customer Service 800-627-1188

Broker Relations

Broker training, appointments and escalated inquiries

Broker Relations & Support 855-659-9159
brokerrelations@bcidaho.com

Annual Medicare Part D Mailing

Beginning today, Blue Cross of Idaho is mailing the CMS required disclosure of creditable coverage to Medicare Part D eligible individuals. We’ve posted these notices on the broker portal.

This information must be disclosed to employees and their dependents on an employer group plan. Blue Cross of Idaho mailed the following information to employer groups and individual members to ensure employer groups follow these requirements:

  • Cover letter to group administrators and individual members
  • Group administrators received sample creditable coverage and non-creditable coverage notices
  • Individuals received either a creditable coverage or non-creditable coverage notice depending on their coverage

Please contact us with any questions

Sincerely,
Broker Relations

9/28/17 - Now available for group; Automatic monthly bank withdraw

Dear Broker,

We are pleased to announce that your groups now have more choices when making monthly premium payments. New and existing groups can elect to have their monthly premiums automatically withdrawn from a bank account by completing this Group Authorization Agreement for Automatic Withdrawal form. Please consider the following when offering this option to your group clients.

Blue Cross of Idaho will:

  • Mail and post the group bill, post login, to bcidaho.com/employers on the 20th of each month (or next business day)
  • Draft on the 28th of the month (or next business day) for the following month’s premium payment
  • Withdraw the total amount due on the group bill including any outstanding balance, if applicable
  • Need a separate ACH form for each subgroup (when banking information is different)
  • Begin ACH the month following the last month billed. Example:
    • September 20, 2017 bill generated for October 1, 2017 premium
    • Group submits ACH form September 27, 2017
    • First ACH draft occurs October 28, 2017 for November premium payment

Any changes processed through the 19th of the month will be reflected in the group’s billing. Any changes made after the 19th will be reflected on the following month's bill.

We are excited to offer this option to your group clients. Please submit completed forms to groupACHsetup@bcidaho.com.

Enrollment forms are fillable PDF

Did you know that most Blue Cross of Idaho Small Group and  Individual (off exchange) enrollment forms are fillable PDFs?

Fillable PDFs allow you and your clients to type the application or enrollment information onto the form from a computer or mobile device, save the information and submit a clean, readable copy. The application must be printed for the applicant to sign. The signed application can be emailed or faxed to Blue Cross of Idaho for processing.

We encourage you and your clients complete the fillable portions of the applications online to produce a more readable copy. This helps increase accuracy, decrease enrollment times and in turn, increase member satisfaction. All available fillable PDFs are available at brokers.bcidaho.com.

Applications and enrollment forms can be submitted to:

Individual

Group

We appreciate your continued partnership.

Sincerely,
Broker Relations
Blue Cross of Idaho

Small Group & Individual QHP

Dear Broker,

We are pleased to inform you that our 2018 Small Group and Individual Qualified Health Plan (QHP) sales literature is approved. You can access these materials by visiting brokers.bcidaho.com and selecting Sales Assistance, then Sales Literature.

Please note, the Idaho Department of Insurance changed the rating regions for the QHP products. As a result, the number of your region may be different for 2018.

Additionally, we posted the 2017 Fall Broker Meeting presentation and Individual and Small Group Plan Changes sheets to the broker portal. To access, you must log in to brokers.bcidaho.com and select Updates & Mailings then Presentations

We anticipate the 2018 rate approval by the end of the week so please watch for more information to come.

Sincerely,
Broker Relations
Blue Cross of Idaho

8/8/2017 - Fall Broker Meetings

Dear Broker,

We hope you are looking forward to next month’s Fall Broker Meetings. We’re excited to share more than just 2018 Blue Cross of Idaho product information. We plan to talk about our corporate strategy and share exiting news about commissions. You’ll hear from product experts and find out about new technologies that will help you do business with us. You also can ask questions and have a chance to win door prizes.

If you need to register, please log in to the broker portal and select the 2017 Fall Broker Meeting Registration button and register for the session you are interested or select this link.

If you have already registered for a session and received your confirmation email, you don’t need to do anything.

We look forward to seeing you next month. Please contact brokerrelations@bcidaho.com with any questions.

Sincerely,
Broker Relations
Blue Cross of Idaho

Group Letter of Authorization (LOA) Process Change

Good Afternoon,

Blue Cross of Idaho no longer requires a Letter of Authorization (LOA) to quote new business. This streamlines the current process and provides a better experience for you.

We value your business, and we want to be the best choice for you and your customers. That’s why we are working hard every day to make it easier for you to do business with us. We promise to improve our processes, and this is the first change to show you we keep our promises. This change is effective immediately and means that groups do not have to provide a written request for you to start the quoting process. If any group provides you with the information needed to obtain a quote, we will generate the quote.  

For renewing business, only the existing Broker of Record (BOR) will be able to present renewal options. If a group wishes to designate a new BOR to assist with the renewal of their Blue Cross of Idaho contract, the group administrator may do so by selecting a new BOR through the current Letter of Record process.  

If you have any questions, please contact your local service representative or account manager.

Thank you,
Tom Loach Director of Sales

7/28/2017 - 2017 Fall Broker Meeting Invitation

Dear Broker,

Blue Cross of Idaho is pleased to invite you to our 2017 Fall Broker Meeting. The agenda includes:

  • 8:30 – 10:00 a.m.: Small Group and Individual Product Updates
  • 10:15 – 11:15 a.m.: Medicare Advantage Product Overview
    We recommend you complete your CMS Certification and Blue Cross of Idaho Product Training prior to attending this meeting. This is an overview and does replace any required training.

Please join us for one of our 2017 Fall Broker Meetings:

Date Area Location Address
Thursday, Sept.7 Nampa Nampa Civic Center 311 3rd St. S.
Friday, Sept. 8 Meridian Courtyard Marriott 1789 S. Eagle Rd.
Monday, Sept. 11 Meridian Courtyard Marriott 1789 S. Eagle Rd.
Wednesday, Sept. 13 Clarkston Quality Inn 700 Port Dr., Clarkston
Thursday, Sept. 14 Coeur d’Alene Hampton Inn & Suites 1500 W Riverstone Dr.
Monday, Sept. 18 Twin Falls Hilton Garden Inn 1741 Harrison St. N.
Tuesday, Sept. 19 Fort Hall Shoshone Bannock Hotel & Events Center 777 Bannock Trail

Please note: There are no CE credits offered for any of these sessions.

Registration Information

  • Registration takes less than one minute
  • Registration must be completed online
  • One person can register multiple attendees
  • Brokers and their staff are welcome to attend

How to register:

  1. Login to brokers.bcidaho.com and select 2017 Fall Broker Meeting Registration button in the middle of the page
  2. Enter the name and email address of the person attending
  3. Select the date of the desired meeting
  4. Select the session(s) the attendee wishes to attend
  5. Select Submit

If you wish to register additional attendees, please begin again at the broker portal.

We look forward to seeing you at one of these meetings and sharing the latest information on these important topics. If you have questions about, please email brokerrelations@bcidaho.com.

Sincerely,
Terri L. Havis
Director, Broker Relations
Blue Cross of Idaho

7/14/2017 - 2018 CMS Medicare Advantage Training and Certification

Dear Broker,

The 2018 CMS Medicare Advantage Training and Certification is now available.

Blue Cross of Idaho requires CMS certification and Blue Cross of Idaho product training to sell our Medicare Advantage business. Please complete the following steps no later than October 10, 2017:

  1. CMS training and final exam
    1. This can be completed through Gorman or AHIP or;
    2. Through the Blue Cross of Idaho Online Learning Center (OLC aka, Pinpoint) for $89.
      1. Additionally, you may also purchase eight hours of CE credits after successful completion of the exam.
  2. Product Training will be available mid-August on the OLC. We will email you as soon as the training is available.
  3. Sign the Blue Cross of Idaho Medicare Advantage Independent Producer Agreement. This agreement will be sent once you complete all required training.

Online Learning Center (OLC)
To access the OLC, log into the broker portal and select the Online Learning Center button. Make sure the pop-up blocker is turned off as this will open in a separate window

  • Verify that your profile information is up to date by selecting the My Profile tab in the upper right corner. Please update any information as necessary.
  • Select Course Catalog in the left navigation panel.
    • Complete the CMS training or;
    • Upload a completion certificate from another provider by selecting Certificate Upload for Another Provider

Please note: Holly Erdman has accepted a new position and is not available to upload your CMS Certificate. You are required to upload your 2018 certificates.

If you have already completed your CMS certification through another Carrier (AHIP or Gorman) it is not necessary to complete the Blue Cross of Idaho CMS certification. We encourage you to contact other carriers to verify what certification courses they accept.

We appreciate your continued partnership. If you have any questions, please contact the OLC system administrator, Bob Rock, at 208-387-6852 or broker relations Debbie Dickson at 208-331-7428, or Lynette Gaskell at 208-331-7355 for assistance.

Lynette Gaskell
Blue Cross of Idaho
Sr. Medicare Broker Relations Specialist
208-331-7355
lgaskell@bcidaho.com

6/8/2017 - Scope of Appointment

Dear Agent/Broker,

Scope of Appointment Form

During a recent audit, it was identified that some agents  are using older Scope of Appointment forms (SOA).  Please check your files and replace any forms you may have with the copy provided in this email. (The SOAs provided in your 2017 enrollment kits are the correct form.) In order to be compliant with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) you must fill out the SOA when having face to face meetings with potential clients.  The form must be filled out completely, including types of plans discussed , type of appointment , appointment date, and signature dates from the beneficiary.  You must retain a copy of the Scope of appointment in your office for 10 years and have it available upon request from Blue Cross of Idaho or CMS.

Please do not send your  SOA's to Blue Cross of Idaho as we do not retain them for you.

5/26/17 - Residency Verification on Short Term PPO℠ & Medicare Supplement applications

5/26/17

Dear Broker,

As you are aware, only Idaho residents are eligible to purchase Blue Cross of Idaho individual health insurance. Residency is currently verified on all Qualified Health Plans (QHPs) at time of enrollment. To ensure that residency verification is done on all Blue Cross of Idaho individual products, we will begin verifying residency on Medicare Supplement and Short Term PPO℠ applications. We will use the same process currently in place for our Qualified Health Plan (QHP) applications and will have updated Medicare Supplement and Short Term PPO applications as soon as they are approved by the Department of Insurance. In the interim, please write at the top of the application the primary applicant’s Idaho driver’s license number or state-issued ID, and expiration date. In the absence of a valid Idaho driver’s license or state-issued ID, two documents proving residency, such as a utility bill, mortgage statement, rental agreement, etc., dated within the past 60 days must be submitted to us for review. You may send this information directly by emailing it to iss@bcidaho.com. If residency information is not included with the application, we will send a letter to your client, notifying them that they have 15 days to provide us with the information. We will also send a letter if we have any questions regarding the residency documents provided or if we are unable to validate Idaho residency. Please note that coverage is not effectuated until Idaho residency has been verified. For questions, please contact our Sales office at 800-365-2345.

Sincerely,

Blue Cross of Idaho

5/22/17 - 2017 QHP Rx Amendment

5/22/17

Dear Broker,

Last Friday, Blue Cross of Idaho sent an amendment to all group administrators for groups on a Bronze, Silver, or Gold plan (excluding HSA) who have renewed in 2017. Copies of the group cover letter and amendment can be found here post log-in under the Small and Mid Size Group section. The amendment advises that non-preferred generics are not subject to the $1,000 pharmacy (Rx) deductible. This amendment is retro effective for groups who have renewed on or after January 1, 2017. To clarify, Blue Cross of Idaho has never applied the $1,000 pharmacy (Rx) deductible on non-preferred generics for these plans. We have simply updated our contracts and SBCs to reflect how we have been applying benefits all along. Because of this, the amendment is merely a formality. Please feel free to contact our Sales offices at 800-365-2345 with any questions.

Sincerely,

Blue Cross of Idaho

5/15/17 – New MedPlus Broker Bonus Program

Dear Broker,

We are excited to announce our 2017 Idaho MedPlus Broker Bonus Program. This program pays you a bonus for every new Idaho MedPlus policy you sell with effective dates from June 1 through November 1, 2017. More information is available on the broker portal or by clicking here.

If you have any questions, please contact brokerrelations@bcidaho.com.

Sincerely,

Broker Relations

Blue Cross of Idaho

4/24/17 – Changes to Group Applications

Dear Broker,

We recently updated the Idaho Universal Group Application on the broker portal. You can find the new application and cover sheet here under the Group folder.

We consolidated the applications down to just two versions. One version includes the health questionnaire (for all non-qualified health plan groups) and the other does not (for QHP groups). Both versions are available in fillable PDF. Please destroy any previous application you may have.

We reorganized the group applications and forms page by group size so you can quickly find the form you need. We hope that these changes make it easier to process group applications.

Please feel free to contact our sales office at 800-365-2345 with any questions.

Sincerely,

Blue Cross of Idaho

4/21/17 – Small Group Rates

Dear Broker,

The healthcare discussion these days usually revolves around increasing costs. That’s why we are pleased to announce that our small group qualified health plan (QHP) base rates will not increase for third quarter 2017. It’s part of our commitment to help our members continue to have access to quality healthcare with financial peace of mind.

This is the second quarter in a row that we have not increased rates.

Small group QHP base rates are reviewed each business quarter. July quoting is now available on our group quoting tool. Please feel free to reach out to our Sales offices with any questions at 800-365-2345.

Sincerely,

Blue Cross of Idaho

4/14/17 – No Webinars this Week

Dear Broker,

Due to the Idaho Association of Health Underwriters (IAHU) Symposium, we will not hold webinars during the week of April 17. We will resume our webinars on April 24. The topic that week is Risk Adjustment and the impacts to Medicare and individual business lines.

If you have not registered for the IAHU Symposium and are interested in attending, please visit their website at IAHU.org and select Attendee Registration to complete the registration form.

Sincerely,

Broker Relations

4/11/17 – BOB Report Enhancement, Individual Amendements, Spring Webinars, Group Dental Sales Bonus

Dear Broker,

Book of Business report enhancement

Yesterday, we updated the Broker Book of Business report to include the Primary Care Physician (PCP) status for your individual qualified health plan (QHP) clients. The Individual Medical tab now displays a Primary Care Provider Selected column. Yes indicates that each eligible member on the policy has selected a PCP, No indicates that at least one eligible member on the policy has not selected a PCP, and N/A indicates that the member does not have an individual QHP policy.

As a reminder, you may update an individual QHP client’s PCP on his/her behalf using the Change Member PCP tool under the Reports & Commissions tab post-log in on the broker portal. We appreciate your assistance in obtaining this information.

Individual Amendments

Recently, we mailed out non-plan year policy amendments on Medicare Supplement and individual grandfathered/grandmothered plans. You can find copies of the mailers linked here post-log in by expanding the Non-QHP and Medicare Supplement folders. Please contact us at brokerrelations@bcidaho.com if you have any questions.

Spring Webinar Series

We appreciate the large participation we have received so far for our spring webinar series. Some upcoming topics include balance funding, risk score adjustment, wellness, dental, Medicare and ancillary products. You can find a calendar of our scheduled webinars on the broker portal post-log in. Webinars are recorded and can be located post-login on the broker portal by selecting Updates & Mailing and then Presentations.

Annual Group Dental Sales Bonus

Our annual group dental sales bonus is still available to brokers this year. When your eligible new group dental sales total more than 50 contracts, we will reward you with a payout of $5 per eligible contract. We cap groups at the first 500 contracts.

Sincerely,

Blue Cross of Idaho

 

3/31/17 – Grandmothered Plans Extension, IAHU Symposium

Dear Broker,

Grandmothered Extension

As you’re aware, the Idaho Department of Insurance (DOI) released guidance for the future of grandmothered policies. You can find that information here.  Blue Cross of Idaho will follow the guidance of the DOI and extend our grandmothered group and individual policies through December 31, 2018.

Upon renewal in 2017, we will move all our grandmothered policies to a January 2018 renewal date. The latest grandmothered extension will allow these groups and individuals a full 12-month renewal and accumulators.

Idaho Association of Health Underwriters Annual Health Symposium

We encourage you to support the Idaho Association of Health Underwriters (IAHU) by participating in the Annual Health Symposium on Wednesday, April 19, 2017 at the Boise State University Student Union Building.

The symposium has been enormously successful in providing continuing education, motivation and inspiration to health insurance professionals for more than 32 years. The 2017 symposium promises to attract industry leaders from across Idaho and the region. This is a perfect event to explore new opportunities, build relationships and expand your business.

Please visit iahu.org for more information.

If you have further questions, please contact the district office or brokerrelations@bcidaho.com.

Sincerely,

Broker Relations

Blue Cross of Idaho

3/9/17 – Office closure, Short Term PPO Update, Group Applications Changes, Broker Event Calendar

Dear Broker,

All Employee Training

Blue Cross of Idaho is closing our offices on Friday, March 10 and Thursday, March 16 from 1-3 p.m. MST for companywide training.  As a reminder, our customer service department is open weekdays 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. MST, and on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. MST.  Thank you for your understanding.

Short Term PPO Update              

Blue Cross of Idaho decided to allow an applicant to select up to 10 months of coverage on a short term PPO policy with effective dates through July 31, 2017. We will let you know if there are further updates to this product.

Group Applications

We've combined our coversheet and application into one PDF that can be used for all group sizes. Also, we included the health statement addendum to the combined form for groups that require the questionnaire. The updated applications are located on the broker portal under Forms and Documents. We hope this makes the application process easier for you and your groups.

Event Calendar

We created a calendar of events for you to access to learn about upcoming webinars, training and events. To access, please login to the broker portal and click on the Upcoming Broker Events button on the main page.

Sincerely,

Blue Cross of Idaho

3/1/17 – New Broker Appointment Process, Spring Webinar Series

Dear Broker,

New Broker Appointment Process

We are implementing an improved process for new brokers who would like to be appointed to sell Blue Cross of Idaho products, and/or for any brokers moving between agencies. If you know of new brokers who want to be appointed or are making changes, please refer him/her to the new Broker Pre-Screening Appointment Form located pre-login on the broker portal under Just for Brokers.

He/she will be required to provide:

  1. A copy of the State of Idaho disability license (agency/agent, whichever applies)
  2. Your Health Idaho (YHI) certification paperwork (if selling individual products)
  3. A business plan indicating how he/she will achieve $3000 in annual commissions

Blue Cross of Idaho broker relations will complete a pre-screening review within 7-10 business days and, if approved, we will send the new broker the appointment paperwork. This new process will streamline and automate new broker appointments. Please email brokerrelations@bcidaho.com with any questions.

Spring Webinar Series

This month, we will be kicking off our weekly broker webinars. We are excited to bring a more diverse array of topics that will include all market segments including large and small group, individual, and Medicare and ancillary products. Please watch your email for upcoming topics and agendas. Typically, we hold webinars each Monday at 2:00 p.m. MST and each Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. MST.

Sincerely,

Blue Cross of Idaho

1/27/17 – EIRMC In-network

Dear Broker,

Blue Cross of Idaho and Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center (EIRMC) signed an agreement to provide in-network emergency care and ‘gap coverage’ for Blue Cross of Idaho members in the Mountain View ConnectedCare and Hometown East networks. The agreement is retroactive to January 1, 2017, and protects our members from balance billing.

Members should seek care at the primary facilities within their network before seeking care at EIRMC. For example, if a member is in the Mountain View network, his/her primary care provider should direct the member to Mountain View Hospital.

Members seeking unique services such trauma, acute NICU services, inpatient mental health and chemical dependency treatment should be directed to EIRMC.

As a reminder, the Mountain View and Hometown East networks are specific to our individual coverage plans, and EIRMC continues to be a valuable partner for our employer groups and Medicare Advantage customers.

Please contact Broker Relations if you have any questions about our new agreement with EIRMC.

Sincerely,

Blue Cross of Idaho

1/19/17 – District Offices IVR Changes

Dear Broker,

We heard your requests to improve our automated phone system, and are pleased to share new changes we are launching on Friday, January 20.

You can now reach customer service, a district office or broker relations using 800-365-2345. Also, we added an option of voice or numeric prompts to reach a specific individual by name or extension. We will ask for your six-digit broker ID number when you call. For example, if your broker ID is 009992BC, you would enter 009992. This allows us to direct you to the employee you wish to speak to.

You’ll be able to specify the purpose of your call: a prospect or application question, a brokerage appointment or commission question, or a payment, coverage or claim’s question for your client. Next you can specify if your call is regarding an individual client, a group or a Medicare Advantage client. For more information please click here to view a quick start guide

The next time you call, please take a moment to listen for the new automated phone prompts.

Sincerely,

Blue Cross of Idaho

1/18/17 – BOB Transfer Process Changes, Medicare Supplement PERSI changes

Dear Broker,

Updated Process for Book of Business Sale/Transfers

One of the provisions of the updated Agent/Agency Agreement (AA) is that Blue Cross of Idaho must approve any Book of Business (BOB) moves/transfers from one agent or agency to another prior to the transfer. We want to make sure you aware of this process. 

We created the Broker Book of Business Transfer Request Form which is a fillable PDF, and is required for any BOB moves/transfers to be considered. This form is available post-login on the broker portal under Reports and Commissions and Broker Commissions Information.

Our intent is to protect our brokers and their clients. Often, requests are made and the purchasing broker isn't licensed or properly certified. We want to insure the process runs as smoothly and quickly as possible.

If you have any questions on this new process, please contact brokerrelations@bcidaho.com.

Medicare Supplement PERSI Pay Change

To ensure a smooth transition and a better member experience, Blue Cross of Idaho no longer requires the first month’s premium payment for SWS retirees who use their PERSI to pay premiums. This includes new applications, along with members who change their Medicare Supplement Plan from a Prime 65 to a MedPlus product.

Sincerely,

Broker Relations

Blue Cross of Idaho

1/10/17 – Changes to Small Group QHP Rx

Dear Broker,

We’ve made some corrections and updated the sales literature for small group plans.

The most important and beneficial update for your clients is in the Rx benefits of all non-HSA plans. All non-preferred generic drugs will have a $10 copayment but are NOT subject to the Rx deductible. As a result there is no deductible for any type of generic, either preferred or non-preferred. Please see the links below for updated sales literature:

Link to updated online sales literature

Link to correction sheet

Link to Small Group Rx sheet

All members who renewed or were enrolled in a small group plan effective Jan. 1, 2017, were not impacted. The pharmacy system was set up correctly, and anyone who purchased non-preferred generic medications effective January 1, 2017, only paid the $10 copayment.

For any questions, please contact our sales office at 800-365-2345.

Sincerely,

Blue Cross of Idaho

1/3/17 – Updating Client PCP, 2017 Commission & Bonus Arrangements, Identity Protection Services

Dear Broker,

Happy New Year! We want to thank you for your continued partnership, and look forward to working with you in 2017.

PCP Selection – Individual QHP

Did you know that there are now several ways for your individual clients to select or update their primary care physician (PCP)? If your clients did not select a PCP during open enrollment or they need to make a change to their PCP, here’s what to do.

  1. Broker Portal – You can now update your client’s PCP information on the broker portal. This new tool is available post-login under Reports & Commissions, then select Change Member PCP. You must supply both the member’s first and last name and date of birth or the member ID number. Please keep the following in mind:
    1. The Change Member PCP tool is only available for clients that have an individual QHP with Blue Cross of Idaho. Please follow your normal process to change a client’s PCP on other lines of business.
    2. The policy must be effectuated in order for you to change or update the client’s PCP online through the broker portal.
    3. The PCP change is always effective the first of the following month.
    4. Searching by Member ID allows PCP selection for each enrolled member of the family.
    5. Member Portal – Current members can login to the member portal and select a PCP.
    6. PCP Office – This feature is coming soon. It will allow members to select or change a PCP from the provider’s office

For new enrolling members, PCP selection is available at the time of enrollment.

Broker Commission Schedule

The 2017 Commission and Bonus information is available post-login on the broker portal. Once you login, select Reports and Commissions, then Broker Commissions Information.

  • We’ve added the new Idaho MedPlus commission structure. There were no changes to the individual or group commission structure.
  • Last month, we sent changes to the Individual Broker Bonus Program. You can find this information post-login on the broker portal.
  • The Broker Commission brochure and the Broker Bonus Program brochure are now two separate documents linked on this site.
  • The 2017 calendar includes important commission cutoff and payment dates and is only available online. We will not print these this year.

Identity Protection Services

Your individual Blue Cross of Idaho QHP clients are eligible for free identity protection from AllClearID. This is an added layer of protection for your client’s medical history, bank account and credit cards. AllClear’s identity repair is the most comprehensive service offered, and have trained professionals to help navigate the complicated process of ID repair, no matter how the theft occurred. If your client is interested in the free service from AllClear, he/she should login at members.bcidaho.com and then select the Learn More link under the AllClearID logo.

If you have any questions, please contact brokerrelations@bcidaho.com.

Sincerely,

Broker Relations

Blue Cross of Idaho

12/7/16 – 2017 APTC Outbound Calls

Dear Broker,

Blue Cross of Idaho will begin outbound automated calls to our individual on-exchange QHP members who received Advanced Premium Tax Credit (APTC) in 2016 but whom we have not yet received confirmation of APTC from Your Health Idaho in 2017.

Calls will start today and continue through Thursday, December 8. Below is the call script for your reference.

Hello,

This call is about your Blue Cross of Idaho health insurance, please stay on the line.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare determines if you qualify for subsidies to help pay for your insurance. We were notified that the Department of Health and Welfare has not been able to determine your subsidy for 2017. This means you will have to pay more for your insurance next year.

If you want a subsidy for 2017, it is important you provide the information requested or contact the Department of Health and Welfare. You can reach them by phone at 1-877-456-1233. Again that number is 1-877-456-1233.

If you need more information, please call your insurance agent or Blue Cross of Idaho at the number on the back of your member ID card.

Thank you for choosing Blue Cross. We look forward to serving you in 2017.

As you can understand, our staff is very busy handling incoming telephone calls related to Open Enrollment. If you have any questions about the status of your clients’ APTCs, please check your Agent Book of Business report on Your Health Idaho’s broker portal or call YHI directly.

*Please disregard calls to clients who have reestablished their APTCs for 2017 in the past week. The list of members receiving calls is based on our most updated reports, but we are still actively processing many records.

Sincerely,

Blue Cross of Idaho

12/6/16 – Shoshone Medical Center In-network

Dear Broker,

I want to make sure you are aware that we have a finalized contract with Shoshone Medical Center for our 2017 Individual Hometown North QHP product. We are working to update the area maps and the online Provider Directory with this information.

Sincerely,

Blue Cross of Idaho

12/1/16 – Groups Not Affected by Tailored Networks

Dear Broker,

As we head into the holiday season, and the middle of open enrollment, we wanted to take a moment to remind you about our new provider networks.

Our changes to provider networks do not apply to your group business. Your groups will continue to enjoy the great service and benefits without any interruption. 

The network changes publicized in recent weeks relate only to individual plans purchased as part of the Affordable Care Act directly from Blue Cross of Idaho or on the Idaho healthcare insurance exchange, Your Health Idaho.  These plans use ‘tailored networks’ that direct members to designate a primary care in-network provider who then coordinates care referrals among regional healthcare network providers.  But again, this does not apply to your group members.

You are welcome to share this information with your groups if they have questions about their coverage, or you are welcome to contact broker relations with your questions.

Thank you for your continued partnership.

Sincerely,

Blue Cross of Idaho

12/1/16 – Lanuch of Idaho MedPlus Medicare Supplment Plans

Dear Broker,

We are pleased to announce the immediate availability of 2017 Idaho MedPlus plans A, F, K and N offered by Blue Cross of Idaho Care Plus.

Below you’ll find the links for the approved sales literature for your reference. Please feel free to print as many copies as you need for your clients. We will notify you as soon as printed materials are available.

Benefits at a Glance

Benefit Guide

Idaho MedPlus Application

While AEP ends December 7, there’s still time to enroll beneficiaries in Idaho MedPlus for a January 1 effective date. All applications received by January 4, 2017 will have a policy effective date of January 1, 2017.

Here are some things to remember about Idaho MedPlus policy issue:

  • Current Blue Cross of Idaho Care Plus Medicare Advantage members receive guaranteed issue into Idaho MedPlus plans.
  • Current Medicare Advantage members who received notices of non-renewal have until February 28 to buy an Idaho MedPlus plan and receive guaranteed issue.
  • Any beneficiary who is still within their 6-month Medigap Open Enrollment Period can buy an Idaho MedPlus plan and receive guaranteed issue (even if they are currently enrolled in another Medicare Supplement plan).
  • Prime 65 or Classic Blue members DO NOT receive guarantee issue into an Idaho MedPlus plan and will need medical underwriting to join. However, if Prime 65 or Classic Blue members are still within their 6-month Medigap Open Enrollment Period, they will receive guaranteed issue.
  • 2017 rates are listed in the Idaho MedPlus Benefit Guide.

Please do not hesitate to contact broker relations if you have any questions.

Sincerely,

Blue Cross of Idaho

11/18/16 – September Commission Issue

Dear Broker,

As you may recall, we experienced difficulties with the October commission run due to a system upgrade. As a result, last month we repaid September’s commission and any amounts that ran in October. We promised to reconcile this with the November commissions.

Next week when you receive your commission statements, you’ll notice they’re longer than usual due to this reconciliation. We hope this information is valuable to your reconciliation efforts, and apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Please email brokerrelations@bcidaho.com  with any questions.

Sincerely,

Blue Cross of Idaho