It’s not too late to get tobacco-free in 2021

Smoking Cessation - Thinking About Quitting

How are those New Year’s resolutions going? Did you start the year on a mission to quit smoking or using other tobacco products but somewhere along the way you got sidetracked?

Well now is a great time to revisit those resolutions because nicotine cessation aids are covered at 100% under the preventive provisions of the State’s health plan!

Nicotine cessation products can be used to help members quit tobacco use. These include over the counter quit aids like patches, gum and lozenges and tobacco cessation drugs that can be prescribed by a doctor. Details about this benefit can be found in each plan document posted on the Medical page.

Health Benefits of Quitting

Lowered risk of lung cancer and many other types of cancer.

Reduced risk for disease and early death. While the health benefits are greater for people who stop at earlier ages, there are benefits at any age. You are never too old to quit.

Reduced risk of heart disease, stroke and peripheral vascular disease (narrowing of the blood vessels in outside your heart).


Members enrolled in the State’s health plan can also access a 12-week tobacco cessation workshop in the WellConnected section of the Blue Cross of Idaho member portal, Or call the customer service number on the back of your member ID card for more information about programs and quit aids.

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

No Better Time To Be Healthy

Chronic health conditions often happen for a number of reasons that are beyond our control. These conditions can put a strain on your overall well being, your family, and your finances. The State’s health plan has programs in place to help members manage and even improve their chronic conditions, navigate the healthcare system, and provide support to their loved ones.

You can learn about available resources on the Be Healthy page of the OGI website that include programs like:

  • Condition Support (formerly known as Disease Management) empowers members and caregivers, in collaboration with their physicians and care providers, to effectively manage disease and prevent complications through adherence to medication regimens, regular monitoring of applicable lab/vital signs, a healthy diet, exercise, and other lifestyle choices. The program offers support to members and dependents who are managing an acute or complex illness or are at risk for or have a chronic condition such as:

    Have a Heart

    • diabetes,
    • asthma,
    • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD),
    • coronary artery disease, or
    • heart failure.

  • Care Management (formerly known as Case Management) can help you better understand your conditions, teach you how to take an active role in your healthcare and help with navigating any obstacles you run into. Through this program, members work directly with a care manager who will create a personalized care plan. You get education materials and resource support.

ThumbsUp Icon Members can also take advantage of the Living Well with High Blood Pressure [PDF] self-guided workshop.


Computer Icon Want more information? Set up your Blue Cross of Idaho member portal account at and explore all of the available resources and information available there.

Do you have a primary care provider (PCP)?

Having a regular doctor – also called primary care provider or PCP – not only helps you get healthy but stay healthy. A PCP helps you navigate all of your healthcare needs, from big to small. They will review your medical records and medications, discuss your personal medical history as well as your family members’, and conduct general exams. Follow-up visits can be centered on specific healthcare goals such as strategies to improve or manage wellness or to treat an illness. Need more extensive care than your PCP provides? A PCP can also help coordinate care with specialists as well.

Where and when to get care [PDF]

Here are a few ways to find in-network care:

  • Log in to the Blue Cross of Idaho member app and select Find Care.
  • Visit and log in to your member account. Select Search Tools, then select Find a Provider. There, you can search and find a list of providers in your network.
  • Call Blue Cross at the number on the back of your member ID card for help locating a provider.

icon-_0013_blue-checkboxDownload the Blue Cross of Idaho Mobile App for Apple or Android devices and view member ID cards for you and your dependents.

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

The phone numbers to reach Customer Service for your medical and dental coverages, vision and prescription drug benefits, and Employee Assistance Program (EAP) are as close as your wallet or purse. Printed on the back of every Blue Cross of Idaho member ID card are local and toll-free numbers to contact your carrier for inquiries about coverage, verify claim status, set up an appointment with a counselor and more.

ID Card ImageLost your Member ID card? You can view or request a new ID card by logging in to your Blue Cross of Idaho Member Account,, and select “Need your ID card?” from the center section of the page.

The Office of Group Insurance and Blue Cross of Idaho have provided a variety of ways for you to access your information for those circumstances where you need it most.

You may also contact the Office of Group Insurance by phone, email or through the website with questions about the benefits administered by our office.

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!

Virtual Care 24/7 With MDLive


Did you know you have access to a medical provider 24 hours a day, 7 days a week?

Did you know there are currently no copays or coinsurance for these visits?

MDLive provides quick and convenient virtual medical and behavioral services. If you are enrolled in the State’s medical plan all MDLive copays and coinsurance have been waived this plan year regardless of the health plan you selected at enrollment.

Don’t have a medical need right now? Why not download the app on your Apple or Android device and activate your MDLive account so that when you do have a need to see a provider for one of the 50+ available routine services? It will be as easy as opening the app and connecting.

Get Started today – it’s quick and easy! Download the app, text ‘BCIDAHO’ to MDLIVE (635483), visit or call 888-920-2975.
MDLIVE Welcome [PDF]

MDLive is also ready to listen and support you and your family during challenging times. Their board-certified psychiatrists and licensed therapists can help you process the information as it develops, create strategies to manage your concerns, identify healthy activities, and put together a plan tailored to your unique situation and needs.

Now, more than ever, is a great time to focus on what you can control and your overall well-being. Schedule a private, confidential visit and keep both mentally and physically healthy with MDLive.


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



Mental Health – The Other Annual Checkup

Hopefully everyone knows that you should go to the doctor, dentist and optometrist every year for checkups, but what about a checkup for your mind?

Everyone deals with tough times, but even happy events like a new job, a marriage, or a new baby can add stress. That is when taking an hour for a session, or two, or three, with a counselor might help you navigate new or persistent challenges in your life and increase your overall well-being.

The State’s Group Insurance Program provides an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to all benefit eligible employees and their dependents regardless of their enrollment in any other program. The provision for this benefit is detailed in each of the medical plan contracts posted on the Medical page of the OGI website.

There are several ways to access the GuidanceResources(R) information and programs.

Visit the Counseling page of the OGI website for program and contact information

Download the Guidance Resources mobile app

Preparing your health & wallet for the new plan year

The new plan year starts July 1! You can expect to start receiving 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 FY22 New Plan Year Highlights that includes information about:

  • New weight management program
  • New diabetes management program
  • Enhanced dental coverage
  • New ER copay
  • 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?
Medical You can add/drop coverage for yourself and your dependents at any time during year. No (exceptions for dependent dental)
Dental You can drop dependent coverage at any time. 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 FSA You 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 FSA You 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 Life You can change your beneficiaries at any time. No
Voluntary Term Life (VTL) You can enroll/increase/decrease your coverage any time. However, outside 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.

Computer IconHaven’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.


Start 2021 with a smile!

Do you know how often you should visit the dentist or how long you should brush your teeth? It’s easy to remember with the 2-2-2 rule! Brush and floss 2 times a day for 2 minutes and visit the dentist 2 times a year. This rule applies to kids and adults alike.

Most people know that good oral and dental hygiene can help prevent bad breath, tooth decay and gum disease – and can help you keep your teeth as you get older. But, a healthy mouth can also ward off medical disorders. An unhealthy mouth, especially if you have gum disease, may increase your risk of serious health problems such as heart attack, stroke, poorly controlled diabetes and preterm labor.

Plan history has shown that at least 40% of members enrolled in the dental plan aren’t visiting a provider even once a year. Imagine the time and pain of costly dental and/or medical issues that could have been caught early on or prevented altogether.

nurse iconDon’t have a regular dentist to get your cleanings every six months? You can find dentists in the searchable provider feature on the Blue Cross of Idaho Member Portal.

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

Tooth Icon Have questions about other covered services? You can review the dental contract on the OGI website: or call the customer service number on the back of your Blue Cross of Idaho member ID card.

Cavities are preventable. Model good oral healthcare habits for your whole family.



Protect your identity in 2020

In today’s high-tech world, it’s critical to keep a vigilant watch on your personal and financial data. The State of Idaho and Blue Cross of Idaho are helping to assist members with that effort.

Blue Cross of Idaho has partnered with Experian IdentityWorks to offer members enrolled in the State of Idaho’s health plan and their families identity protection services at NO COST to the member.

It’s important to protect what’s most valuable to you, especially your health, family and home. This is an added layer of protection.

Members enrolled in the health plan should visit the Blue Cross of Idaho member portal and look for the Experian logo at the bottom of the homepage once you are logged in.

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Haven’t set up your Blue Cross of Idaho member portal account? Have your Member ID handy and visit In addition to finding the link to enroll in the IdentityWorks services, the member portal also allows you to view plan information, explanation of benefits (EOB) documents, search for network providers and so much more.

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

Now is the time to understand your benefits

The best time to understand your benefits is right now when you have the time to set up appropriate logins, find a provider, and know where you have filed vital information. The wrong time to try and understand your benefits is in the midst of a healthcare crisis when you don’t know where to go, who to call, or what your out-of-pocket cost will be. 

Here are a few things to consider and get you started to better understand how to access the benefits that your monthly premiums provide. Your wallet and your health will thank you!!

New Member ID Cards – All members will be receiving another set of member ID cards that will now include the 24/7 NurseLine phone number and information about the ChoiceDocs program for the PPO participants. If you haven’t set up your account on the Blue Cross member portal, have your ID card handy and visit:

ChoiceDocsChoiceDocs is a new program within the PPO network that allows you to access providers and specialists at a lower cost; $0 copay for a primary care visit and $20 for a specialist visit. If your current provider or specialist isn’t in the ChoiceDocs network, you will continue to pay a $20 copay for a primary care visit and now pay $40 for a specialist visit. Not all providers or hospital systems are in the ChoiceDocs network. This program does not apply to the Traditional or High Deductible plans.

Provider Search – Use the provider search tool on the Blue Cross of Idaho member portal to find a new provider in your area or to see if your current provider is part of the new PPO ChoiceDocs program. Search by PPO in-network and sort by Tier.

BCI Mobile AppDownload the NEW BCI mobile app on your Android or Apple device for access to resources and information about your medical and dental benefits, member ID cards, programs and more.

Telehealth – In a few short months both MDLive services and telehealth virtual visits administered by other providers have become a routine way for members to receive healthcare. Telehealth will continue the entire plan year as a covered service because so many providers have developed the capability of delivering care in this manner.

OGI Website – the OGI website,, is a great resource for information about all aspects of the health plan, premiums rates, plan contracts, Life & Disability, Flexible Spending, and so much more. We update and add to the content on the website frequently.