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Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas Employer e-News

Thank you for choosing Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas as your health insurance carrier. This newsletter will be sent periodically with details of what’s new on our Web site, www.bcbsks.com, and other information about news, products and services that may be of interest to you and your employees.

Health Care Reform

Businesses, individuals to be impacted by historic health care legislation

On March 23 President Obama signed H.R. 3590, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, into law. This historic legislation encompasses the U.S. Senate proposal for health care reform which was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives, 219-212. 

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act encompasses many changes to private health insurance, Medicaid and Medicare. In the next few days, we expect the Senate to pass H.R. 4872, Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act, which will modify certain provisions in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. We are working diligently to understand every detail in the 2,000-plus pages of legislation to assist our members. Below is a preview of the legislative reforms that will impact your private health insurance coverage with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas in coming months.

Health Plan Benefit Changes*

We know that many Kansans are wondering how these new reform laws will affect them. Most of the changes to health insurance and health care delivery will not take place until 2014 and beyond.

Some of the changes will occur this year, however.  Contracts with anniversaries beginning on and after Oct. 1, 2010, will include the following changes:

  1. There will no longer be a lifetime maximum benefit limit.
  2. There will no longer be an annual limit on "essential health benefits" as defined by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
  3. Dependents will be eligible for coverage to age 26. 
  4. There will be no pre-existing condition exclusions for children under 19.
  5. Insurers will only be allowed to rescind a member’s coverage in cases of fraud or intentional misrepresentation of a material fact, and only with prior notice to the policyholder.
  6. Certain preventive services will be covered without any cost-sharing.
  7. Internal and external appeals processes will be expanded.

Changes After 2010

Beginning in 2014, individual health insurance policies will be available guaranteed issue. This coordinates with the implementation of state-run insurance exchanges (Web sites) and premium subsidies. Group health insurance policies are currently guaranteed issue.

There are many other provisions that will take effect after 2010, and more details about how those legislative items will affect your coverage will be made available as it becomes available.

*Taken from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act.

Walk @ Lunch Day

Encourage your employees to join BCBSKS for National Walk @ Lunch Day®

Looking for ways to encourage your employees to become more physically active? If so, you have a great opportunity awaiting you April 28 during National Walk @ Lunch Day. BCBSKS, together with Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies across the country, has set aside this day as a reminder to members to incorporate exercise into their busy schedules.

In Topeka, many of our employees will be joining hundreds of other folks for a rally at the state capitol and a walk around the capitol grounds. You can participate in the day by organizing a 20- or 30-minute walk for your employees during the lunch hour or simply by encouraging them to get out and move more.

For more information, see our Web site.

 

Turn off paper SOCPs

"Turn Off the Paper" Supports Worthy Cause

Preventing paper waste, reducing administrative expenses and saving time while donating to a worthy cause are all part of the “turn off the paper” initiative Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas began five years ago.

For each member deciding to receive their summary of claims processed (SOCP) statements online, BCBSKS donates $1 to a charitable cause. For 2010, the recipient of the donations will be the American Lung Association. The charitable organization is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through education, advocacy and research.

Opting to receive SOCPs online means members receive their claims information sooner, since an e-mail is sent with a link to the information in our secure section as soon as a claim is processed.

Your employees will find that getting started is easy. If a member has never created a secure User ID and password, they simply sign up from the www.bcbsks.com home page. After one’s identity is validated, a password is sent via e-mail so they may log in to BlueAccess® immediately. Once there, members click the “Request SOCP e-mail notification” link to turn off the paper SOCPs.

If you'd like an easy way to share this message with your employees you can download and print a stuffer on the Tools for Employers page.

 

Resource Blue

Exciting new changes coming to Resource Blue in May

Look for some exciting new changes to Resource Blue, our value-added health and wellness program for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas members. We are partnering with WebMD to provide trusted, comprehensive information you need to make smart choices about your health. Members also will have access to Blue365, a national program providing exclusive discounts on health and wellness products and services.

Healthplan

Check out recent and past issues of Healthplan

Did you know that recent and archived issues of Healthplan are available on our Web site? Take a look at the most recent issue and learn what other topics have been covered in past issues.

 
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Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas is an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas serves all counties in Kansas except Johnson and Wyandotte. ®Registered Trademarks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.