Employer Resource Center

Updated August 20, 2020  – New Features

Online option for premium payment

We are now offering online, one-time payments for group health and dental premiums, and will be accepting credit card payments until December 31.
Two ways to make a secure payment:

  1. Use our Direct Access Link to pay your premium.
  2. Through your employer BlueAccess portal, you can easily navigate the payment section, add your credit card information and submit a one-time payment.

Grace period extended
We know that financial hardships have fallen on many employers. To ease some of the burden around insurance premiums during this time, we are extending our payment grace period from 10 days to 30 days. You will now receive a notification letter if payment has not been received within 30 days from the invoice issue date.

Payments need to be received within 45 days after the invoice issue date to prevent policy cancellation.

This extension will be in effect until December 31, and we hope it will allow you to continue coverage for your employees.


Updated June 19, 2020COBRA/State Continuation/ Medicare Supplemental Insurance

NEW CARES ACT INFORMATION

The “Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security” or CARES Act was implemented by the Federal Government to provide relief to Americans in the wake of the COVID-19 National Emergency.


Covid-19 Employer Frequently Asked Questions

Updated August 20, 2020 – BCBSKS employers can find answers to some common questions. We will continue to add to this list as more information is available.

If a plan participant is laid off and returns to full time status at a later date – will they have to meet the new hire waiting period to re-enroll?

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.

Will the submission time frame of submitting new enrollments be altered? A: Not at this time. Please contact your BCBSKS rep if there are issues with submitting documents and documentation in a timely manner.

Will the issuance of ID cards and policies time frame be altered from current timeframes?
A: Not at the present time.

Since so many firms have reduced staff or simply closed – if the employer has not signed off on all the required renewal documents to assure their renewal – what do we do? This may prove to be difficult in reaching them at their homes.
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.

What are the layoff provisions; how long can active coverage be continued following a layoff?
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 December 31, 2020 and will communicate an update at that time.

If a group wanted to change their eligibility to include part-time, 20 hours per week, would BCBSKS be able to immediately accommodate?
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.

If a member is currently serving their waiting period and has not yet reached their effective date and are temporarily laid off / on furlough due to current events, how would this be handled? (not eligible until they return to work?)
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 December 31, 2020.

What is the policy for temporary relaxation of required number of hours for insurance eligibility?
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.

If my business has been shut down due to COVID-19 mandates, what happens to my group? Can the business remain enrolled if hours aren't being worked?
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 December 31, 2020.

If a member is filing and receiving unemployment benefits as part of COVID-19, will this impact their policy remaining active?
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 December 31, 2020.

Is there a minimum number of hours required to work weekly, if the 30-hour requirement is not enforced?
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.

Will there be a participation number of eligible staff to be enrolled enforced – if so what is the number?
A: BCBSKS will not be enforcing enrollment participation or quotas at this time. We will re-evaluate this policy December 31, 2020.

With many employers looking at a reduced workforce in response to COVID-19 recommendations, does BCBSKS intend to put a moratorium on the +/- 20% re-rate provision until employers fully understand the long-term work staff effects of the current market?

A: Yes, there will be a moratorium until at least Dec. 31, 2020. At that time, we will re-evaluate the situation. We will not re-rate any existing enrolled groups between now and then.

A group wants to change their employee contributions to pay for more of the employee portion of the premium. Section 125 sees this as a qualifying event. Would BCBSKS support that? Would you allow enrollment changes with an employee contribution change?

A: A group may certainly increase the portion of the premium that they are paying on behalf of the employee. However, we will not be accepting enrollment changes due to that change, as this is not a qualifying event.

Will BCBSKS help business owners who are affected by COVID-19 with premium forgiveness? 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. For fully-insured business, how are you covering treatment of COVID-19 – doctor visits and hospitalization? A: 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 through the duration of the declared public health pandemic.
  • 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.
If a self-funded business wants to waive copays and out-of-pocket costs for treatment of COVID-19, will BCBSKS allow this to be covered under the stop loss? 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.

Is my understanding correct that BCBSKS is working through a potential global response to the coronavirus and looking to identify a solution for current BCBSKS/American Well clients in which all employees (not just those on the medical plan) would have access to telemedicine at no cost? Can you confirm if this would include all employees the group would want to see covered (part-time, etc.)?
A: It is important to note that an employee's regular, local primary care physician may be offering telemedicine and it would be covered at $0 member share, if they are a BCBSKS member. It has always been the case that employees not enrolled with BCBSKS can access American Well telehealth and pay by credit or debit card for the non-discounted cost of the visit. BCBSKS members, during this pandemic, will receive their American Well visit at no cost, once American Well has this enabled. Any visit with American Well 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, once we have this set up in our system. BCBSKS is working with American Well to determine other low cost options for non-enrolled employees where the group has BCBSKS coverage.

Online Option for Premium Payment


Am I able to pay our group's monthly premium online? Can I use a credit card?
We are now offering online, one-time payments for group health and dental premiums. And for a limited time, we’re accepting credit card payments.
Two ways to make a secure payment:
  1. Use our Direct Link to Payment to pay your premium.
  2. Through the employer BlueAccess portal, you can easily navigate the payment section, add your account (banking or credit card) information and submit a one-time payment.
To access through BlueAccess, please follow the steps below.
  1. Once logged in, click Pay Now.

2. Enter the group number that's shown on the second page of your invoice. It may or may not include a hyphen with an additional number.  If it does have this, you will need to include it when typing the number.


3. Select a Payment Method. You can choose check or credit card.


4. Enter your banking or credit card information for the payment method you selected.


5. Click Make Payment.

6. Once payment is complete, you will receive a confirmation screen and be sent a confirmation email.

Can I set my account to auto-pay?
No, this is a one-time bill pay feature. Each time you make a payment, you will be asked to key in your information to complete the payment
Does it automatically store my credit card information?
No, we do not store payment information. You will be required to key in your information each time you make a payment.

Will I have to pay a transaction fee when using a credit card?
You will not be charged a transaction fee if you pay with a credit card. You will only pay your invoice total.

Can I also pay my invoice for Advance Insurance Company of Kansas (AICK)?
AICK premium payments will not be accepted via credit card at this time. Credit card payments are only accepted for BCBSKS health and/or dental group premium payments.

Who is eligible? A: Anyone with a loss of coverage on or after 03/01/2020 may enroll in or reinstate COBRA or Individual Coverage without being subject to typical timelines.

Would the normal election, premium payment, and other provisions and timelines of Kansas Continuation apply? A: Enrollments and/or payments to reinstate coverage may be received until 60 days after the announced end of the COVID-19 National Emergency. They will be considered timely. All COBRA eligibility requirements still apply. The effective date must be the day following cancellation of group coverage. A gap between active and COBRA coverage is not allowed. The member is billed for all necessary premiums to make the policy current.

What documentation is needed to verify loss of coverage? A: All normal documentation necessary to verify the loss of coverage is required.

When is enrollment effective? A: Enrollment may be effective first of the month following the member's loss of coverage or first of the month following notification to BCBSKS.

Can I re-enroll if my policy was cancelled due to non-payment? A: Policies cancelled due to non-pay within the CARES Act timeframe may be reinstated without being subject to normal Request for Reinstatement (RFR) regulations.

If a member can no longer afford COBRA, will BCBSKS extend coverage beyond the grace period? 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 determine their eligibility for subsidy on the federal marketplace at healthcare.gov.

At what point would an employer, subject to the federal COBRA rules, have to offer COBRA? A: When the employee, and/or the employee and their dependent(s), has a loss of coverage, COBRA continuation rules would apply.

At what point would an employer, subject to the Kansas Continuation rules, have to offer Kansas Continuation? A: When the employee, and/or the employee and their dependent(s), has a loss of coverage, Kansas continuation rules would apply.

Would the normal election, premium payment, and other provisions and timelines of COBRA apply? A: Yes, unless and until federal guidance to the contrary is received.

Are there changes to the Medicare Supplemental Insurance enrollment? A: Members attempting to enroll in Medicare Supplemental Insurance coverage due to a loss of coverage may enroll without submitting a health statement. All other enrollment regulations remain as is.

Employer groups with BCBSKS insurance can find more details with COBRA administration guidelines in the Group Administrator Manual

Is BCBSKS allowing an additional 30-day refill on maintenance medications? 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.

If a self-funded business wants to cover an additional 30-day refill for maintenance medications, will BCBSKS allow this to be covered under the stop loss? 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.

Will the cost share for drugs from retail pharmacies be waived or will it remain subject to the member's cost share? A. Drug costs relating to COVID-19 treatment will continue to be subject to the member's cost share. There isn't a FDA approved prescription drug therapy for COVID-19, but commonly used drugs prescribed for treatment are at or below the generic copay of $15 for most members.

Will the Coronavirus be covered under our Advance Insurance Company of Kansas short term disability policy if an employee chooses to apply? What is the process?  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.

 

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