December 2011

In This Issue

 

Ceridian Payment Options for Continuants Expand

Beginning January 1, 2012, COBRA participants served by Ceridian will have expanded payment options. Those options will include:

  • Online at http://www.ceridian-benefits.com/ using a checking account, bank-issued debit card or credit card, including Visa, MasterCard, Discover and Diners Club. Ceridian's partner Fiserv will charge a $5.95 convenience fee for each payment up to $2,500.
  • By telephone interactive voice response at (800) 877-7994 using a checking account, bank-issued debit card or credit card, including VISA, MasterCard, Discover and Diners Club. Ceridian's partner Fiserv will charge a $5.95 convenience fee for each payment up to $2,500.
  • Using CheckFree. Participants can verify if their financial institution participates in CheckFree online bill pay by visiting http://www.ebillplace.com/.
  • By U.S. Mail to: Ceridian COBRA Services Center, Attn: Payment Processing, 3201 34th Street South, St. Petersburg, FL 33711-3828

Ceridian will communicate these enhanced payment options to COBRA participants in several ways:

Beginning with the December 2011 billing cycle:

Notification flyers will be inserted in monthly bills through March 2012. Information about the expanded payment methods will be printed on the front and back of the COBRA bills.

In January 2012:

Email notification will be sent to participants who have provided an email address to Ceridian. U.S. Mail notification will be sent to participants who have not provided an email address.

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Ask George

Question: George, we recently terminated an employee from our practice. Once we submit the termination notification, will the NCMS Plan's administrator, BCBSNC, send out a notice to the employee letting them know of the termination of their NCMS Plan health insurance and the dates they had coverage with the NCMS Plan?

Answer: When you submit the notification of termination, BCBSNC will automatically issue a HIPAA Certificate of Prior Creditable Coverage (HIPAA Certificate) to subscribers once their health coverage officially ends.

HIPAA Certificates will provide the documentation requested by successive insurance carriers for the individual reducing or eliminating any waiting periods for coverage of pre-existing conditions.

Although there are circumstances where benefits will terminate for a member or dependent on the true day of the event that eligibility ended such as death or divorce - in the case of an employee termination, benefits for the former employee will end on the last day of the month in which the employee is terminated.

If anyone does not receive their certificate, they can request one directly from BCBSNC Customer Service by calling 877-275-9787 or online through Member Services at http://www.bcbsnc.com/members/ncms/.

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Mellon HSA Balances Now Displayed on BCBSNC Member Services

NCMS Plan subscribers with Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) administered by Mellon are now able to easily view their HSA fund balances online at Member Services via http://www.bcbsnc.com/members/ncms/.

The feature is available to subscribers enrolled on an NCMS Plan HDHP product. Dependents enrolled on this these products will not be able to view this information, only the subscriber. Some of our participating practices use an HSA fund administrator other than Mellon. Subscribers with other administrators will not be able to view their HSA balance though Member Services on http://www.bcbsnc.com/members/ncms/.

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NCMS Plan Announces Practice Wellness Grant Program

The NCMS Plan has long promoted healthy lifestyle programs and believes effective wellness programs lead to better lifestyle choices, which in turn lead to a healthier population. An effective and successful health promotion strategy not only requires planning and executing but a need for support. The NCMS Plan is excited to announce the Practice Wellness Grant Program.

Financial grants are available to support participating groups that adopt an effective and sustainable health promotion program, or expand an existing one. To be eligible, practices are required to achieve certain participation and completion goals around a number of components defined as key elements of an effective health promotion program.

The amount of money that a practice can receive depends upon the number of employees enrolled in the NCMS Plan at the time of goal fulfillment and the criteria levels attained. The minimum grant is $250 and the maximum grant is $15,000. The lifetime total a practice can receive is $100 per enrolled employee.

Together, we can start now to create a healthier future for your employees and your practice. The sooner you begin or expand a health promotion initiative, the faster you can realize both financial and health benefits. To learn more about the Practice Wellness Grant Program and to apply, please contact mailto:Jason.Horay@mmicnc.com?Subject=Practice Wellness Grant Program or call (919) 878-7530.

Inspire Others To Practice Wellness

Have you created an environment that supports healthy lifestyles for your employees? Is your practice 100% tobacco free property wide? Have you linked a participation-based incentive strategy into your practice's benefit plan structure?

We would love to hear about your successes and continue to assist you with sustaining your health promotion efforts!

Even achieving small goals is a success! Share your experience and inspire other practices. What tips and suggestions could you offer other practices? What obstacles did you overcome?

Send us a short email telling us your story. We look forward to hearing from you and showcasing your efforts to other NCMS Plan practices in a future issue of CHOICES.

Send your success story to jason.horay@mmicnc.com.

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About the North Carolina Medical Society

As the largest physician organization in the state, the North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) is devoted to representing the interests of physicians and protecting the quality of patient care. The NCMS Plan, sponsored by the NCMS, is the only statewide employee benefits plan designed specifically for North Carolina physicians.

For more information about many other benefits of NCMS membership, visit http://www.ncmedsoc.org/.