Employer Group FAQs

March 23, 2020

BCBSKS employer groups can find answers to some common questions. We will continue to add to this list as more information is available.

A: Yes, there will be a moratorium until at least May 15, 2020. At that time, we will re-evaluate the situation. We will not re-rate any existing enrolled groups between now and then.
A: As long as premiums are paid, BCBSKS will not be enforcing any work requirements on eligibility for coverage. We will re-evaluate the situation by May 15, 2020 and will communicate an update at that time.
A: Employees who are currently eligible and enrolled in coverage as of March 16, 2020 may continue their active coverage, as long as premiums are paid, without working the group's required number of hours for coverage eligibility. We are not extending eligibility to include current part time employees or employees not previously working the required number of hours.
A: A group may certainly increase the portion of the premium that they are paying on behalf of the employee. We will not, however, be accepting enrollment changes due to that change, as this is not a qualifying event.
A: Employees who are currently eligible and enrolled in coverage as of March 16, 2020, or an employee who has been in the process of working in order to meet their company imposed waiting period, may join active coverage at the regularly scheduled effective date. As long as premiums are paid, we will allow them to retain that coverage whether they are working the required number of hours or not. This policy will be re-evaluated May 15, 2020.
A: Employees who are currently eligible and enrolled in coverage as of March 16, 2020 may continue their active coverage, as long as premiums are paid, without working the group's required number of hours for coverage eligibility. We are not extending eligibility to include current part time employees or employees not previously working the required number of hours.
A: To receive benefits, an insured MUST be under the regular care of a physician and either diagnosed with the virus or ordered to be quarantine based on symptoms they are experiencing or actual exposure to the virus. Self-quarantining will not be covered. To apply for benefits, they would need to complete a disability claim form - AICK-18, available on our website www.advanceinsurance.com.
A: We understand these are trying and unprecedented times, but we are unable to forgive premiums. We will be paying for a number of medical services with no cost share to the member to help them receive care with no financial burden.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) began offering emergency disaster loans to Kansas businesses and non-profit organizations on March 21, 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The disaster declaration applies to all 105 Kansas counties.

Eligibility for Economic Injury Disaster Loans is based on the financial impact of the COVID-19. SBA loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills. The interest rate is 3.75 percent for small businesses and 2.75 percent for private non-profit organizations.

Click here to register and apply for a loan.

There may be additional federal financial relief that comes from Congress to help businesses and employees during this pandemic. If that occurs, we will be sure to share that information as it becomes available.
A: Yes, the business may certainly remain enrolled. Employees who are currently eligible for coverage, or currently enrolled, may continue their active coverage, as long as premiums are paid, without working the group's required number of hours for coverage eligibility. We are not extending eligibility to include current part time employees or employees not previously working the required number of hours. This will be re-evaluated May 15, 2020.
A: Employees who are currently eligible and enrolled in coverage as of March 16, 2020 may continue their active coverage, as long as premiums are paid, without working the group's required number of hours for coverage eligibility. This will be re-evaluated May 15, 2020.
A: Effective April 3, BCBSKS will waive cost-sharing for treatment of COVID-19 for the next 60 days. This includes coverage for testing and treatment administered at a doctor’s office, urgent care facility and emergency room, as well as inpatient hospital stays. This applies to fully insured members, along with those who receive their insurance through Medicare Advantage plans. BCBSKS will also work with self-funded customers who want to implement a similar approach, so that these members’ needs can also be met during this time of concern. In accordance with the Families First Coronavirus Response Act signed into law March 18, BCBSKS will be waiving member cost-share (co-pays, deductibles) for the following services associated with the testing of COVID-19.
  • Medically necessary diagnostic tests related to COVID-19
  • Cost of visit to doctor’s office, urgent care, telehealth, and emergency room used for diagnostic testing of COVID-19.
  • Related services (flu tests, respiratory illness tests) provided during urgent care, emergency room, or in-person or telehealth provider visits that result in an order for or administration of a covered diagnostic test for COVID-19.
A: Yes, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, BCBSKS is already allowing members to refill prescription medications before they are due to be refilled. Early medication refill limits will be waived. Members are also encouraged to use their 90-day mail-in benefit. In cases of drug shortages or access issues, BCBSKS will work to get an equivalent medication at no additional costs to the member.
A: BCBSKS is unable to extend COBRA coverage beyond the grace period. If a member has exhausted COBRA or qualifies for another special enrollment period, they should check for coverage and their eligibility for subsidy on the Federal Marketplace at healthcare.gov.
A: Yes, this will be covered under a group's BCBSKS stop loss. Coverage across both fully insured and ASO lines of business can be found at bcbsks.com/coronavirus.
A: Yes, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, BCBSKS is already allowing members to refill prescription medications before they are due to be refilled. Early medication refill limits have been waived for both fully insured and ASO groups and if ASO, it will be covered under the stop loss. Members are also encouraged to use their 90-day mail-in benefit, if available by their group. In cases of drug shortages or access issues, BCBSKS will work to get an equivalent medication at no additional costs to the member.
A: No, there is no minimum being enforced. Employees who are currently eligible and enrolled in coverage as of March 16, 2020, may continue their active coverage, as long as premiums are paid, without working the group's required number of hours for coverage eligibility. We are not extending eligibility to include current part time employees or employees not previously working the required number of hours.
A: BCBSKS will not be enforcing enrollment participation or quotas at this time. We will re-evaluate this policy May 15, 2020.
A: No, BCBSKS will not require the employee to meet a new hire company imposed waiting period. The group has the option of still requiring it.
A: When the employee and/or the employee and their dependent(s) has a loss of coverage, COBRA continuation rules would apply.
A: When the employee and/or the employee and their dependent(s) has a loss of coverage, Kansas continuation rules would apply.
A: Yes, unless and until federal guidance to the contrary is received.
A: Not at this time. Please contact your BCBSKS rep if there are issues with submitting documents and documentation in a timely manner.
A: Internal micro group will continue to be auto renewed under the current process. For other groups, if the group has contacted their BCBSKS rep and there are issues sending us the renewal documents or documentation then we will be flexible in working with them to renew coverage.
A: It is important to note that an employee's regular, local primary care physician may also be offering telemedicine, and it would be covered at no cost to the member if they are a BCBSKS member. BCBSKS encourages members to contact their primary care physician to see if he/she is set-up to provide telehealth it has always been the case that employees not enrolled with BCBSKS can access Amwell telehealth and pay by credit or debit card for the non-discounted cost of the visit. During this pandemic, BCBSKS members will also receive their Amwell visit at no member cost. Any visit with Amwell after March 16, 2020 where a member was required to pay their normal out of pocket cost will have their claim adjusted to $0 member share. Please be patient while we set this up in our BCBSKS system.

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