Updates

More Reimbursable Items for Medical FSA

The recently enacted 2020 CARES ACT changes the provisions for purchasing of over-the-counter (OTC) drugs or medicines. These changes apply to expenses that were incurred on or after January 1, 2020.Navia logo

FSA plans are now allowed to reimburse over-the-counter (OTC) drugs or medicines, without a prescription. This includes items such as:

  • aspirin
  • antihistamines, and
  • cough syrup

Items purchased to support general health, such as vitamins and supplements, still require documentation that the item was prescribed.

In addition, menstrual care products qualify as an eligible expenses. Menstrual care products include items such as tampons, pads, liners, cups, sponges, or similar products.

Buying these items using the Navia debit card may not immediately work, as all the stores have to update their internal coding so the items flag as eligible. If employees have difficulty with the debit card, they can submit the receipt as a claim for reimbursement.

Keep in mind that Open Enrollment is right around the corner. This is the time each year to enroll or re-enroll for flexible spending accounts without a qualifying event. Look for information from your HR offices later this month. For more information about how flexible spending accounts work, visit the OGI Flexible Spending webpage.

Preparing For a Time When You Aren’t Around

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.

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?

If something were to happen to you the last designated beneficiary(ies) would receive the financial benefit of your life insurance regardless whether it was an ex-spouse or only those older children named because you never got around to adding the younger ones.

We strongly encourage you to check your beneficiary designations every year and consider adding a contingent beneficiary in case something happens to the primary beneficiary before you have a chance to update your paperwork.

You should always 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.

Additionally, 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.

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!

Living Well in 2020, Nicotine Free

How are those New Year’s resolutions going? Do you or your spouse need more support to make that final push to be completely tobacco free in 2020?Smoking Cessation - Thinking About Quitting

New this plan year, nicotine cessation aids are covered at 100% under the preventive provisions of the State’s health plan. 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, http://members.bcidaho.com. 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 members.bcidaho.com.

Mental Health – Your 4th Annual Checkup

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 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.

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

 

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

Planning for the Cost of Healthcare

Our health is our most precious asset, and it is both empowering and reassuring to have authority over our healthcare decisions. As costs have increased some, but not all, patients are becoming more conscious consumers of healthcare.

Think about the last time you purchased a car, a cellphone or a television. How much research did you do before you actually made the purchase? It was probably more research than you did the last time your doctor recommended an MRI or knee replacement. A key difference is that far more tools are available to compare the price and quality of electronics and vehicles, but the healthcare industry is coming along.

Price transparency in healthcare enables patients to shop for the most effective, lowest-cost health care available. It also gives patients helpful information to have engaging conversations with their Primary Care Physician (PCP) and specialists about the types of procedures/services they are recommending and the site of care for those services.

[Click the Knee Replacement graphic to the right for Cost Advisor FAQ]

Members enrolled in the State’s health plan can access the Cost Advisor program on the Blue Cross of Idaho member portal, http://members.bcidaho.com, to estimate out-of-pocket costs for upcoming procedures and services. The attached FAQ document provides good information about how to access this program.

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

 

Disease Management and Diabetes Awareness Month

Myth: Eating healthy can be expensive. Fact: Being unhealthy can be expensive.

While no one would choose to have a chronic health condition, they do happen for a number of reasons. The State’s health plan has programs in place to help members manage and even improve their chronic conditions which also helps them manage their costs for healthcare related expenses.

ThumbsUp Icon New this year, members can take advantage of the Living Well with High Blood Pressure [PDF] self-guided workshop.

Members also have access to the Blue Cross Disease Management Program whose goal is to empower members and/or caregivers, in concert with their physicians and other care providers, to effectively manage disease and prevent complications through adherence to medication regimens, regular monitoring of applicable labs/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:

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

Type 2 diabetes makes up 90-95% of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. The good news is that you can take simple steps to lower your risks with a healthy diet, regular exercise, not smoking and keeping your blood pressure in check. #BestInHealth #DiabetesAwareness

You might also be eligible to receive your diabetes medications and supplies at no charge through the Diabetes No Copay Program. Call the number on the back of your member ID Card or login to the Blue Cross member portal for more information.

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

 

Taking Care of ‘You’

Life is busy. Work is busy. Kids are busy. But none of that seems to matter when you are sick.

Here are a couple of things you can do to take care of yourself, your family and your pocketbook.

Syringe Icon

Flu season is here and Flu Vaccines are covered at 100% on all plans. This is also a great time to check with your Primary Care Provider (PCP) about other immunizations that you or family members may be due to receive. A list of immunizations that are covered at no cost to you are included in each plan contract posted on the Medical page of the OGI website.

Did you know Pediatric Vision is now covered at 100% on the PPO and Traditional plans (subject to deductible on thglasses icone High Deductible plan) when using an in-network provider? Check out the Vision page of the OGI website for information or the Pediatric Vision Care Benefits page included in each plan contract posted on the Medical page.

Breast Cancer Awareness Knowledge is Power

There are more than 3.3 million breast cancer survivors alive in the U.S. today. Let’s keep the numbers growing by arming ourselves with knowledge about breast cancer. Talk to your doctor to learn about risks and early detection. #BestInHealth #BreastCancerAwareness    

Computer Icon Make sure you have your current email address attached to your Blue Cross of Idaho member portal account to receive communications about your account, benefit highlights and wellness challenges. Login to members.bcidaho.com – Select “My Account” – select “Account Maintenance” – enter the new email address in the “Change Email Address” section – select “Change Email”

  Medical iconNeed to establish a relationship with Primary Care Provider (PCP)? Check out the provider search feature on the Blue Cross of Idaho member portal for lists and locations of in-network providers.  

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

People Take Their Teeth for Granted

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 state employees 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 averted if those issues had 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 members.bcidaho.com.

Tooth Icon Have questions about other covered services? You can review the dental contract on the OGI website: https://ogi.idaho.gov/dental/ 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.

24/7 care from anywhere with MDLIVE

Visiting the doctor just got a lot easier.

MDLive is a time and money saving healthcare alternative for minor conditions like cold and flu, pink eye, or allergies when your doctor isn’t available right away. MDLive treats over 50 routine medical conditions by mobile app, video or phone. You’ll have 24/7/365 access to U.S. board certified doctors (including pediatricians) via phone or video chat.

Traveling? Take your doctor with you! Getting sick is never fun – and it’s even worse when you’re on the road. Besides missing the comforts of home, there’s also the hassle and anxiety of finding care in an unfamiliar city. But with your telehealth benefit, you can bring your doctor along with you. Get care whenever you need it, wherever you are, for non-emergency conditions.

And, if medically necessary, a prescription can even be called into a pharmacy near you.

Now visiting the doctor is easier than ever with a new lower PPO copay of $10 per visit. Traditional and HDHP plan telehealth visits are subject to coinsurance and deductible.

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

MDLive Welcome [PDF]

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.

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

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

The New Plan Year Started July 1, 2019

New this plan year, all ACA listed preventive services will be covered at 100% regardless of the plan in which you are enrolled. If you haven’t scheduled your annual visit with your Primary Care Physician (PCP), now is a great time to get that done. If you don’t have a PCP, you can find a searchable list of providers on the Blue Cross of Idaho Member Portal, members.bcidaho.com.

Tooth IconThe plan also increased the annual dental maximum to $1,500. Don’t have a regular dentist to get your cleanings every six months? You can also find dentists in the searchable provider feature on the Blue Cross of Idaho Member Portal.

 

Check out the whole list of New Plan Year Highlights [PDF] that include information about:

  • Telehealth services with MDLive (now with a lower copay for the PPO plan)
  • Diabetes No-Copay Program
  • Identity Theft Protection with AllClear ID
  • New pharmacy copay amounts
  • And more…

Computer IconHaven’t set up your Blue Cross of Idaho member portal account? Have your Member ID handy and visit members.bcidaho.com.

 

Keep an eye on the Office of Group Insurance website, https://ogi.idaho.gov, 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.