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 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.



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 members.bcidaho.com. 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.

The First Wealth is Health

Ralph Waldo Emerson is attributed with saying “The First Wealth is Health.”

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 employees and their families manage and even improve their chronic conditions which also helps them manage their costs for healthcare related expenses.

ThumbsUp Icon 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 the majority 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. 

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.

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: www.members.bcidaho.com.

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, www.ogi.idaho.gov, 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.

The New Plan Year Starts July 1, 2020

Who couldn’t use a fresh start this year?

Well, it is a new year for the health plan. So now what should you do?

  • Review the Benefits “To-Do” List on the OGI homepage, ogi.idaho.gov. The OGI website has helpful information about all the benefits available to you.
  • Confirm or update your contact information at Blue Cross of Idaho using the phone number provided on the new ID cards that all members are receiving. If you have had any recent changes to your mailing address or email address, these are also important to keep updated.
  • Select a Primary Care Physician (PCP) and Dentist for your healthcare needs this year. Don’t have a provider? You can use the provider search feature on the Blue Cross of Idaho member portal. New feature this year, if you are on the PPO plan look for a Choice Docs provider to lower your copay.
  • Schedule your annual preventive visit. Preventive visits are covered at 100% for all plans. 

Had any life changes this year?

The new plan year is a great time to review the beneficiaries on your Basic Life and Voluntary Term Life (VTL) policies. Your HR Office can assist you with making any updates. You can also visit the Life & Disability page of the website for additional guidance.

Did you know? Starting July 1, the spouse and dependent child life insurance benefits have been increased to $10,000 and $5,000 respectively.  

Other new plan year information to keep in mind:

  • Telehealth services were so successful during the pandemic that medical and behavioral health appointments delivered by televisit will continue to be covered services in addition to the MDLive telehealth offering. MDLive visits are covered at 100% through July and all other visits are subject to copay and coinsurance.
  • Vision benefits now includes an in-network option with a variety of providers across the state including Walmart and Costco. You can search for a provider near you by logging into www.vsp.com. More information will be posted on the OGI website soon.
  • Nurse Advice Line starts July 1. The Nurse Advice Line lets you talk with a registered nurse 24/7 to help you make informed choices about your health.
  • Medical, Vision and Dental plan contracts will be posted on the website as soon as possible.

Check out the list of FY21 New Plan Year Highlights [PDF] for more detail on new and continuing benefits.

Your agency’s HR office is also available to answer questions about enrolling in the medical and dental benefits if you are not currently enrolled or if you would like to add/delete dependents at any point during the year.

Haven’t set up your Blue Cross of Idaho member portal account? Check out the Member Registration Instructions [PDF] or 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 section, well-being resources in the Get Healthy page, information to navigate Life Events, and more… Questions? Contact the Office of Group Insurance in person, by telephone or email.

MDLive is Ready to Help


Worry, stress, and anxiety are expected, given the current conditions surrounding the coronavirus. Everyone handles these and their emotions and responses differently.

MDLive is ready to listen and support you and your family during this challenging time. 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.

If you are enrolled in the State’s medical plan all MDLive copays and coinsurance have been waived for the month of June regardless of which health plan you are enrolled.


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]

For more information from MDLive about services related to coronavirus, visit: https://www.mdlive.com/coronavirus/

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

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.