July 2013

In This Issue
Blue Points Expire July 30th
Mellon HSA Changes
SBC Update
Ask George
NCMS Plan Announces New Wellness Parter--The EI Group
 
 

Blue Points Expire July 30th

Effective July 30th, Blue Points will be discontinued for all participating practices in the NCMS Plan, regardless of your benefit period or renewal date.

Blue Points is the program that rewards members for health and wellness activities. Points earned for completing a health risk assessment or for physical activity could be redeemed for gift certificates, sports apparel, and other items.

Please inform your employees and encourage them to log in, check their balance, and redeem any rewards before the program ends. Members can log in and redeem Blue Points up until July 30, 2013.

The Member Services website will notify members of this program change when they log on and members with Blue Points balances will also receive a letter notifying them of this change.

If you would like to discuss wellness incentive ideas you might use to replace Blue Points, contact Jason Horay, the NCMS Plan Health Promotion Coordinator, at Jason.Horay@mmicnc.com or 919-878-7530.

 

Mellon HSA Changes

Over the past few months, ACS|BNY Mellon HSA Solution has made several changes to improve the service to HSA account holders and to reduce fees associated with HSA accounts.

First, a newly designed website was launched in March. The new website was developed to give members instant access to key account information in a more user-friendly format. Member will access the newly designed website the same way they access it today, hsamember.com.

Second, the $15.00 initial one-time account setup fee has been eliminated.

Lastly, effective October 1st, ACS|BNY Mellon HSA Solution will change its name to BenefitWallet. With this change, account holders will continue to receive the same service they receive today, and the Bank of New York Mellon will remain the HSA custodian. However, beginning October 1, 2013, members will automatically be redirected to the new BenefitWallet site and all communications will be in the new BenefitWallet branding.

 

SBC Update

In the December 2012 issue of CHOICES, we addressed the ACA requirement that the NCMS Plan develop and issue a “summary of benefits and coverage” (SBC) which went into effect September 23, 2012. This requires plan sponsors like the NCMS Plan to provide an SBC to employers for eligible employees, members, new hires and special enrollees upon application, on the first day of coverage, upon renewal and upon request. SBCs must be provided beginning on the first day of the first plan year that begins on or after September 23, 2012. The NCMS Plan's plan year begins annually on August 1st which means that the SBC requirement will apply to the NCMS Plan and its participating practices effective August 1, 2013 and at subsequent individual practice renewals thereafter. For practices with Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs), you may be required to provide a separate SBC for your HRA. Consult your HRA vendor for further information.

The NCMS Plan has produced and made available SBCs to members through Member Services (the BCBSNC website) like the benefit booklets are now. We have also posted digital copies of SBCs on our website for access by practice administrators who need to give copies to new employees and others who may request a copy.

 

Ask George

Question: Our group health renewal was April 1, 2013. We sent our renewal information back to you on March 29th. When I contacted Member Services on April 1st to verify coverage, I was told our practice had not been renewed yet. What can I do to ensure our renewal is processed so our health insurance will show active on the effective date?

Answer: The NCMS Plan sets a deadline for renewal submissions approximately three weeks prior to the coverage effective date. This deadline is important because it provides sufficient time to process all renewals. If renewals are submitted by that deadline, members will be active on the first day of the new benefit period.

Renewals that are submitted after that deadline, and especially those submitted the week prior to the coverage effective date, are less likely to be processed in time for coverage to be active on the first day of the new benefit period. Renewal processing can take 5-7 business days to complete and for member ID cards to be issued. Renewals will be processed in the order that they are received. Submitting your renewal as early as possible will allow sufficient time to complete processing and have ID cards received by your employees by the renewal date.

Even if your renewal is submitted after the deadline and your group is not active on the first day of the new benefit period, members will still have coverage and any claims initially denied, will be adjudicated per benefits retroactively to the beginning of the benefit period.

If you have questions about renewal submission and deadlines, call me at (919) 878-7561 or e-mail george.fanelli@mmicnc.com.

 

NCMS Plan Announces New Wellness Parter--The EI Group

The NCMS Plan is excited to announce its new partner to conduct biometric screenings for participating practices. As part of the Practice Wellness initiative, the NCMS Plan and the EI Group, Inc. (EI) will work together to encourage medical practices to participate and adopt an effective and sustainable wellness culture with biometric screenings as a key component.

EI will support the NCMS Plan's Practice Wellness initiative by providing onsite biometric data collection from participants at a competitive and preferred rate. This includes the following:

– Cholestech; finger stick technology in conjunction with CLIA protocols for blood cholesterol and glucose levels
– Blood Pressure
– Height and Weight for calculation of body mass index (BMI)
– Body Composition
– Flexibility testing
– A summary of results to the participant along with brief wellness coaching session
– Data integration with the NCMS Plan’s Health Assessment
– Aggregate reporting after each screening event to the practice

The NCMS Plan and the EI team look forward to working with your practice. Please contact Jason Horay at Jason.Horay@mmicnc.com or 919-878-7530 if you are interested in learning more about the Practice Wellness program or if you have questions about conducting a biometric screening event.

 

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/.