Updates

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: https://ogi.idaho.gov

  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, members.bcidaho.com. 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 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.

 

The Value of Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA)

Now is the time to enroll for Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) to begin participation July 1, 2021.  Here is information to help you determine if an FSA is right for you. Open Enrollment ends May 14!

A Flexible Spending Account (FSA) is a program that allows benefit eligible employees to pay for eligible medical, dental, vision care, and/or dependent care expenses with pre-tax dollars through payroll deduction. You select a per pay period contribution amount, up to a specified maximum. The money deposited into these accounts is not taxed at the time of contribution, and remains tax-free when it is withdrawn as reimbursement for eligible expenses. If an employee wishes to take advantage of a FSA each year, they must renew the account during the open enrollment period.

Employees can enroll in either or both of the Health Care Flexible Spending Account (HCFSA) and/or Day Care Flexible Spending Account (DCFSA). Dollars deposited in these accounts are kept separate and cannot be transferred from one account to the other. Both accounts are administered by Navia Benefits Solutions and if the participating employee registers on the Navia website or mobile app they can track the activity of their account online.

Benefit eligible employees DO NOT have to be enrolled in the State’s health plan to participate in the FSA.

Navia logo

In addition to eligible medical, dental and vision expenses, the Health Care Flexible Spending Accounts (HCFSA) are now allowed to reimburse items such as:

  • Over-the-counter (OTC) drugs or medicines, without a prescription, such as aspirin, antihistamines, cough syrup, etc.
  • Menstrual care products.
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE) like hand sanitizer and face masks.
  • More approved items available for purchase on the FSA Store on the Navia member portal!

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

Day Care Flexible Spending Accounts (DCFSA) reimburse you for childcare expenses for children up to age 12. New for the coming plan year, the DCFSA annual maximum was increased to $7,746 (household max).

FSA debit cards are provided to all enrollees for free! However, not all stores or daycares have the technology to accept flexible spending debit cards. In that case, members can submit the receipt as a claim for reimbursement via the Navia member portal or mobile app.

For more information about how flexible spending accounts work, annual maximums, use-it-or-lose-it provisions, qualifying events to enroll or change mid-year, and other tips, visit the OGI Flexible Spending webpage.

If you are interested in participating, ask your HR office how to access your FSA enrollment before May 14.

Living Well, Tobacco Free in 2021

Smoking Cessation - Thinking About Quitting

How are those New Year’s resolutions going? Do you or a family member need more support to make that final push to be completely tobacco free in 2021?

Did you know nicotine cessation aids are covered at 100% under the preventive provisions of the State’s health plan?

Tobacco 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).

Source: cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/cessation/quitting

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.

Virtual Care 24/7 with Nurse Advice Line & MDLive

With an increased awareness of your own health during the past year, it can seem overwhelming to triage your own symptoms, determine if they need medical attention, and select the appropriate site of care. That’s why we added the 24/7 Nurse Advice Line. The Nurse Advice Line lets you talk with a registered nurse, at no cost to you, to help you make informed choices about your health or the health of any member of your household even if they are not covered under the plan.

Program the Nurse Advice Line into your phone, then you’ll always have it handy: 888-993-7120.

The Nurse Advice Line can also transfer you over to an MDLive provider if your issue is beyond their scope of service.


MDLive-Logo

MDLive is ready to listen and support you and your family with medical and behavioral health providers ready to video chat with you 24/7. Now, more than ever, is a great time to focus on what you can control and your overall well-being.

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.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 through the end of the plan year.

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]

 

 

Prevention: the act of stopping something from happening

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!

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, https://ogi.idaho.gov, for resources and links to helpful benefit information.

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.

card icon

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.