Misleading information being communicated about member cost-sharing with Quest Diagnostics

IBC has become aware that potentially misleading information about member cost-sharing (e.g., copayment, coinsurance, deductible) is being distributed on documents that display the Quest Diagnostics name and logo. The information indicates that members can continue using Quest Diagnostics after July 1 without additional member financial impact or cost-sharing. Please be assured that Quest Diagnostics will be an out-of-network provider effective July 1, 2014.   For more information click here.   Related: Changes to IBC lab network click here

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IBC has selected Laboratory Corporation of America® Holdings (LabCorp) as sole national provider of outpatient laboratory services…

Independence Blue Cross (IBC) has selected Laboratory Corporation of America® Holdings (LabCorp) as sole national provider of outpatient laboratory services. As the July 1, 2014 effective date approaches, we’d like to give you an update on how the change is being implemented. LabCorp continues to open new locations in the area IBC is pleased to share that 29 new LabCorp Patient Service Centers have opened as of June 16. An additional 18 sites are planned to open by June 30, and several more this summer, to provide even more access for IBC membership. You can find a complete list of LabCorp Patient Service Centers by visiting www.LabCorp.com and selecting Find… Read More

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Clarification on IBC Pharmacy Changes

A number of clients have asked about changes to the IBC pharmacy network. Based on these questions we have found out that indeed there are a few. The changes are related specifically to Walgreens and Rite Aid. The changes only affect the following customers: Clients who have chosen one of the Bronze plans Clients who have enrolled on one of the proactive suite of plans. Rite Aid and Walgreens are not in network for these customers. We asked IBC for further clarification and we received this from a previous press release: Starting in 2014, IBC will introduce a new pharmacy network called the FutureScripts Preferred Pharmacy Network. This network is… Read More

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IBC: Individual Dental and Vision PPO’s Now Available!

Please be advised that Independence Blue Cross (IBC) is offering a new portfolio of Dental and Vision Care plans for adults (aged 19 and older) featuring low out-of-pocket costs and access to a large network of providers. These plans will be available for sale online, by phone, and by mail beginning on April 30, 2014, for June 1 effective dates. Offering individual customers Specialty Services products like Adult Dental and Vision Care emphasizes customer choice and helps give members the protection they need by protecting one of their most valuable assets — wellness. 15% discount on Bundled Dental and Vision IBC offers two Dental PPO plans and two Vision Care… Read More

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IBC: Special Care program ending

As you may already know, the Independence Blue Cross Special Care SM* health care plan will terminate on June 30, 2014. Because the Special Care plan is ending, the individuals who are currently enrolled in this plan will be eligible for a special enrollment period to sign up for a plan that is compliant with the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Special Care members qualify for a special enrollment period All Special Care members will be eligible for a special enrollment period , which will allow them to enroll in an individual or family health plan. Members will have from May 1 to August 29, 2014 to enroll in a health plan… Read More

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IBC: Specialty Services Bundling Programs now available

  Independence Blue Cross (IBC) has announced their Specialty Services Bundling Program is now available for fully-insured customers with 51-500 eligible employees or enrolled contracts and for large self-funded customers. For fully-insured Pennsylvania companies with 51-500 Eligibles or Enrolled Contracts: Adding bundles to medical benefit saves customers money The Specialty Services Bundling Program provides competitive product offerings and helps improve the customer experience by giving cost incentives to customers for adding dental, vision, pharmacy, and employer-paid products to their basic medical coverage plans. By promoting products beyond what is requested, customers become aware of how they can save money on IBC offerings and save the time by shopping with IBC… Read More

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SHOP for Small Group Customers Buying a plan through SHOP versus direct

SHOP for Small Group Customers Buying a plan through SHOP versus direct   Buying plans through the Small Business Health Options Program, or SHOP, provides an advantage only for employers with fewer than 25 employees that are eligible for a tax credit provided by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). If customers are not eligible for this tax credit, there is no advantage to purchasing a plan through SHOP. This is because… Click here to download the SHOP bulletin

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IBC and DaVita HealthCare Partners Announce Joint Venture

Tandigm Health’s innovative coordinated care model will provide higher-quality care, lower costs Independence Blue Cross (Independence) and DaVita HealthCare Partners today announced the creation of Tandigm Health. This unique joint venture, based in Philadelphia, Pa., will help deliver high-quality, affordable care to the region by combining the expertise of one of the country’s largest, most innovative Blue insurers and a nationally recognized pioneer of physician-centric coordinated care. Click here to read the bulletin Click here to read the press release from the IBC website

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IBC: Tobacco Status Important Questions and Answers

Why does IBC collect member-level information about tobacco use? Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), premium rates for health insurance coverage in the individual and small group markets may be based on family size, geography, age and tobacco use. In order to follow with this guideline and accurately rate each group, Independence Blue Cross (IBC) collects member-level tobacco use information to create group premiums for new and renewing group customers. Click the link below to download the IBC document that covers the most common questions about rating tobacco users in small group in PA. Tobacco Status For Small Group Customers Flyer

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IBC: Important Changes Regarding Medicare Part B Exclusion

From IBC November 2013: We are writing to let you know that we will be contacting your group customers to communicate the Medicare Exclusion and application of this exclusion to their benefit plan. What is the Medicare Exclusion? The Medicare Exclusion applies to members for whom Medicare would be the primary payer but they have not elected to enroll. These members will be responsible for paying their doctor, hospital, or other medical professional the amount Medicare would have paid and any applicable copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles. In turn, their group health benefit plan will only pay the remaining balance on claims submitted as if the member had enrolled in Medicare… Read More

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IBC: Small Group Metallic Plans Mapping

Upon renewal in 2014 small groups will be automatically “mapped” to a new ACA compliant metallic plan. Find your new recommended 2014 Blue Solutions plan using the chart below. To make your renewal even easier we’ve identified the plan that most closely matches your current plan. Or you can choose from among 36 other options to suit your needs. More comprehensive coverage Blue Solutions health plans now cover Essential Health Benefits like pediatric dental and vision. Your health plan also continues to cover doctor visits, hospital admissions, emergency room treatments, maternity care, lab tests, X-rays, prescriptions, and vision benefits for both children and adults. Click the link below to download the… Read More

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IBC: Medicare as Secondary Payer

Medicare Secondary Payer (MSP) requirements determine when Medicare is the primary insurance payer. If your company has 19 or fewer full- and part-time employees, Medicare is almost always primary. If your company is larger, various rules apply to determine whether your group plan is the primary or secondary payer. MSP requirements also apply for Medicare-eligible employees who are disabled or have endstage renal disease. The following information provides a summary of the MSP requirements. This information may help you to correctly target benefits for your Medicare-eligible participants and avoid potentially costly penalties and litigation. You should, of course, also refer to the actual laws and regulations with the assistance of your own legal counsel. Click… Read More

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IBC: New Lab Provider Effective July 1-IMPORTANT NOTICE

Independence Blue Cross (IBC) has selected Laboratory Corporation of America® Holdings (LabCorp), as its exclusive, nationally-based provider of laboratory services, effective July 1, 2014. The change applies to all Personal Choice®/PPO and Keystone Health Plan East product lines, and affects all individual, group commercial, and Medicare members, for services rendered in the Philadelphia five-county area, and in the contiguous counties. Effective July 1, 2014, Quest Diagnostics laboratories will be an out-of-network provider for Personal Choice and Keystone Health Plan East. IBC will continue to contract with certain local and regional laboratories… Click to download the bulletin

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IBC: July 1 rate increase for individual medically underwritten plans

IBC: We want to let you know that the monthly rates for our individual medically underwritten plans will increase in July 2014. We are notifying members muchearlier than is required to give them the opportunity to enroll in a plan that is compliant with the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The reason for the rate increase. We understand that it can be difficult to afford quality health insurance coverage. While we continue to work hard to keep costs down, the cost of health care continues to rise along with our member utilization. This is why it’s necessary for Independence Blue Cross (IBC) to implement an 11.5 percent rate increase. Click the link below to read… Read More

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Important: Change to PACE and PACENET Income Limits

Effective February 7, a new law was passed that greatly benefits Medicare beneficiaries who may be eligible for PACE and PACENET. Although the annual income limits will remain the same, the Medicare Part B premium ($104.90 per month for most beneficiaries) is no longer part of the countable income of a Medicare beneficiary. This new law will result in thousands of additional beneficiaries becoming eligible for prescription drug coverage. What this means for beneficiaries Beneficiaries who may have been over the PACE/PACENET income limits by $1,259 or less, may qualify under the new law and should reapply. If a beneficiary reapplies and now qualifies for PACE/PACENET then the beneficiary is… Read More

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Affordable Care Act Video: Subsidies and Tax Credits

Under the Affordable Care Act, individuals and families may qualify for financial assistants to help pay for health care coverage. Age, family size and total household income are the factors that will determine your eligibility for subsidies and tax credits. Answer a few simple questions to learn if you might qualify for financial support: click here or ask your Total Benefit Solutions Adviser to help you by calling us today at (215)355-2121. This short video from Independence Blue Cross makes it easy to understand how they work.

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