Preparing your health & wallet in the new plan year

The new plan year started July 1! You can expect to receive frequent communications from Blue Cross of Idaho, Navia (if you signed up for Flexible Spending), Office of Group Insurance and your HR office highlighting new and continuing programs and benefits. All communications are intended to promote your “Benefits IQ” and show you how to put your premium dollars to good use.

Check out the FY23 New Plan Year Highlights that includes information about:

  • Coverage for FDA approved weight loss medications
  • SmartShopper incentive program
  • Pharmacist medical services program
  • Removal of dental waiting periods
  • Continuing benefits you already have access to
  • And more…

Keep in mind that if your insurance needs or personal situations change throughout the year, there are mid-year actions you can take to adjust your benefit elections. See the chart below for a very high level overview of acceptable changes. More detailed information can be found throughout the Office of Group Insurance website:

 When can I make changes?Is this change limited to Open Enrollment?
MedicalYou can make mid-year changes your medical/dental elections when you experience a qualifying life event, or during the annual Open Enrollment period each April/May. (Within 30 days of the event, except for marriage, birth/adoption have 60 days.)Yes, unless you have a qualifying life event.
DentalYou can make mid-year changes your medical/dental elections when you experience a qualifying life event, or during the annual Open Enrollment period each April/May.(Within 30 days of the event, except for marriage, birth/adoption have 60 days.)Yes, adding previously declined dependent dental is limited to Open Enrollment EXCEPT when you are adding a newly eligible dependent to coverage; in this case previously declined dependents may enroll under a “tag along” provision.
Health Care FSAYou can increase/reduce your contributions after a qualifying life event.Yes, unless you have a qualifying life event. To continue FSA, you must re-enroll every year during open enrollment.
Day Care FSAYou can enroll/increase/reduce your contributions after a qualifying life event.Yes, unless you have a qualifying life event. To continue FSA, you must re-enroll every year during open enrollment.
Basic LifeYou can change your beneficiaries at any time. Your HR office has the forms and will keep a copy on file. No
Voluntary Term Life (VTL)You can enroll/increase/decrease your coverage with a qualifying life event within 31 days of the date of the event. Outside of a life event you will be required to submit proof of insurability to be approved for coverage.No

Don’t have a Primary Care Physician (PCP) or Dentist? You can find a searchable list of in-network providers on the Blue Cross of Idaho Member Portal, Keep in mind the provider you select will determine your out of pocket costs. For instance, ChoiceDocs PPO medical providers and PPO dental providers have lower copays and/or co-insurance than other contracting providers.

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Haven’t set up your Blue Cross of Idaho member portal account? Have your Member ID handy and visit

Keep an eye on the Office of Group Insurance website,, for information in the Stay Informed blog, well-being resources in the Get Healthy page, information to navigate Life Events, and more…

You can always ask your agency’s HR office for information about enrolling in the medical and dental benefits if you are not currently enrolled or if you would like to add/delete dependents.

Questions? Contact the Office of Group Insurance in person, by telephone or email.

Understanding Your Life & Disability Insurance

Life can be unpredictable and it’s important to be prepared so that you know your loved ones are taken care of in the event something happens to you. These can be difficult conversations for some people, but you have resources and support to navigate the process.

All benefit eligible employees of an agency, university or college, or political subdivision who participates in the State’s health plan are provided Basic Life Insurance by their employing agency. In addition to the financial benefit available to you or your family in the event something happens to you, the Basic Life policy also includes access to Short-Term and Long-Term Disability. Employees then have the option to purchase additional Voluntary Term Life (VTL) coverage.

To help you better understand each benefit, we’ve created brief summary documents for each:

  • Basic Life Insurance provides a death benefit equal to 100% of your annual salary for the employee, a $10,000 spouse benefit and a $5,000 child benefit.
  • Short-Term Disability (STD) is used when an employee is temporarily disabled and can’t work for a short amount of time, this benefit is used to replace a portion of the employee’s income. Examples of qualifying conditions include recovery after surgery and mental health condition.
  • Long-Term Disability (LTD) generally begins after short-term disability benefits end. Examples of qualifying conditions include cancer and accidental injuries.
  • Voluntary Term Life (VTL) may be purchased at 1x, 2x, or 3x your annual salary worth of coverage (maximum of $500,000) as well as additional spouse and child coverages available. VTL premiums are paid entirely by the employee. If you enroll more than 31 days after your initial date of hire, you will be required to provide Proof of Good Health for yourself and any dependents you add to this coverage.

You should keep a copy of all life insurance paperwork in a safe place at home, with your accountant, or a trusted family member. Your HR office will also have a copy of your beneficiary designation forms in your personnel file.

As a participant in the state’s Basic Life policy, you have access to Will & Legal Document Services at no charge. You and your spouse can create, print and store essential legal documents – such as a will, living will, healthcare power of attorney, durable power of attorney, and medical treatment authorization for minors. Plus, you can access estate planning tools and a personal information organizer. Check out the Principal Discounts & Extras on the Be Healthy page of the OGI website.

Have you been Married? Divorced? Had children? If so, when was the last time you reviewed the beneficiaries on your Basic and Voluntary Term Life policies? Keeping beneficiary designations up to date is an important part of a comprehensive estate plan. Set an annual date on your calendar to review your estate details!

Know Before You Go – CostAdvisor Tool

When it comes to healthcare, it’s hard to know if you are paying a fair price.

That’s why Blue Cross of Idaho gives you access to CostAdvisor – a tool that lets you see and compare physician, hospital and other healthcare costs in your area and based on your specific plan and network before you make appointments.

CostAdvisor uses historic claims data to provide you an estimate of what your insurance covers and what you may pay out-of-pocket. The more specific you are in your search, the more helpful the results will be. If you search “laminectomy” instead of “back surgery,” you’ll see better search results.

If you find a facility that fits your budget but a doctor is not listed, your primary care physician can help you find a provider who performs the procedure at that facility.

Now you can know before you go!



Visit and log into your member account.
Select Estimate Your Costs Now. A new tab will open in your web browser and you’ll see a snapshot of savings opportunities, or you can begin estimating costs for procedures and services that are important to you.


Registering is easy if you don’t have an account. All you need is your Blue Cross of Idaho member ID card.
Visit and select Register from the top navigation bar.
Once you complete the registration process, you will be redirected to the Blue Cross of Idaho members homepage. Simply choose CostAdvisor from the right hand menu to start estimating costs!

Start Saving Now!

An Ounce of Prevention this Year

Remember the old saying that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”? This particularly rings true when it comes to preventive health care. Maintaining or improving your health is important – and a focus on regular preventive care, along with following the advice of your doctor, can help you stay healthy.

Did you know that there is no cost to enrolled members for listed preventive, screening and immunization services if you use an In-Network provider?

Heartbeat icon Annual adult preventive visits include physical exams and screenings such as blood glucose and cholesterol. Preventive services for children include routine and scheduled well-baby and well-child examinations.

Details about those preventive services that are covered by your medical plan at 100% and other services subject to co-pays and cost-sharing are available on the ‘Medical’ tab of the Office of Group Insurance website. Select and view the Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) or plan contract for the plan type in which you are enrolled. You can also call customer service at the number on the back of your ID card for assistance.

Take advantage of this great benefit and schedule a preventive health care visit with your doctor today!

Adding/Removing Dependents The greatest wealth is health. ~ Virgil

Medical icon Do you need help finding a doctor? Log in to the Blue Cross of Idaho member portal to utilize the Find a Provider tool to locate an In-Network provider near you.

The Office of Group Insurance is committed to providing employees with details about the benefits available through the group insurance program. Visit the OGI website,, for resources and links to helpful benefit information.

New Benefit Summary Document

Looking for a quick summary of the comprehensive benefits afforded to state employees? Check out the NEW Benefit Summary document – Benefits at a Glance – on the OGI website.

Benefits at a Glance is a great resource for new and existing employees to see “at a glance” the medical and dental insurance coverages as well as the life insurance, disability coverage and flexible spending accounts administered through the Office of Group Insurance.

Detailed benefits, plan coverage, eligibility, premiums and more can be found on the website under Benefits & Plans.