August 13, 2010
INDEPENDENCE BLUE CROSS TO INTRODUCE NEW LINE OF PRODUCTS EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 2011—COVERAGE OPTIONS WILL CHANGE
Effective with renewals that take place on Jan. 1, 2011, Independence Blue Cross (IBC) will no longer offer the current HMO, POS and PPO products under which groups with 100 or fewer employees are now insured. This will impact most Association members who have their coverage through IBC. Existing customers will not be able to renew their current plans. All insureds will have to select a new plan from IBC’s new product line (Blue Solutions), which will include new HMO, POS and PPO options. At renewal, a recommended option(s) will be provided to customers who are most like their current option (s). If a customer does not make a benefit election, IBC will automatically default the existing coverage(s) to the recommended option(s).
There will be a total of 25 different new options available to groups comprised from firms that have less than 51 employees. The number of plan options that may be offered will be determined by the total number of employees that a firm has. All the new plans include those benefits mandated by recent Health Care Reform legislation including coverage for dependent children up to the age of 26.
In order to address your questions and concerns regarding these changes that have been mandated by IBC, the Association will be keeping you informed through various ways about the new products. In addition you will receive additional information from USI Affinity, the Association’s broker, as well as IBC itself.
Shortly, you will receive an e-mail communication from USI Affinity outlining the changes and what you, as an insured member, will have to do for the transition. Your health insurance choice for 2011 will take more time and consideration as you examine the available options. We have been advised that a letter direct from IBC to each insured will be sent out on Aug. 23 again outlining the changes and elimination of the old plans. On Tuesday, Sept. 7
at 8:30 a.m. at the Bar Association offices, 11th Floor Conference Center at 1101 Market Street, the Association will hold an open meeting with representatives of USI to explain in detail the information that they have received, how it will impact the insureds and what the open enrollment process will entail for 2011. This program will be repeated at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 28
again at the Association’s 11th Floor Conference Center. A complimentary continental breakfast will be provided at both meetings. RSVP is required. To RSVP for Sept. 7, click HERE
or for Sept. 28, click HERE
Solo practitioners, actively practicing law and currently insured, will not lose coverage. They will however, have to choose from the new Blue Solutions offerings.
At this time we have been provisionally advised that those members covered under the traditional indemnity plans will be able to continue that indemnity coverage for 2011. This will however, be subject to the underwriting guidelines that impact the number of plans that can be offered depending on group size.
For members with questions about these changes, a special number has been set up for you to communicate directly with USI Affinity. You may call 1-800-265-2876 and press prompt #4.
At this time we are taking steps to educate our members about this development. No decision about which new coverage you will pick must be made at this point. That will have to be made once actual rates for each plan are made available by IBC, sometime during the end of October. However, because both the Association and USI Affinity recognize how important health care coverage is to both you and your employees, the Association in a coordinated effort with USI Affinity, will be keeping you apprised of all developments as we learn about them.
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