|In This Issue|
||NCMS Plan Customer Survey Shows High
||Survey Indicates Knowledge of ACA Still
||Benefits of Wellness Programs: Numbers Don't
||Dietitian Referral Network Under Development: Your
NCMS Plan Customer Survey Shows High Satisfaction
For the seventh consecutive year, the NCMS Plan scored above 95% in a
key satisfaction indicator: whether our participating practices would
recommend the NCMS Plan to other practices. Among the respondents to the
2014 survey, 97% responded positively to this statement.
environment where satisfaction with health plans seems to be down across
the country, we are proud to share testimonials from practices that
recognize the distinction between the NCMS Plan and other health insurance
programs. Visit http://www.ncmsplan.com/about-us/practice-testimonials/
to read what your peers have to say.
Though pleased with the
results overall, there are areas of concern that will be a focus this
year. One example is the drop in the positive service rating for our plan
administrator, BCBSNC. A seven-year average of 87% positive ratings is
respectable, but the 2014 rating of 84% bears closer review. BCBSNC is
only part of our service structure, though. The staff and management of
MMIC Agency are a dedicated support team for NCMS Plan practices as well.
Scoring 95% in the most recent survey, our team, including your local Plan
representative and our Raleigh-based staff, are here to assist if you have
questions or frustrations with any of our selected vendors.
NCMS Plan Customer Survey is conducted annually in the beginning of the
year and distributed to all primary contacts of participating practices.
This year, our response rate was nearly 25%.
Survey Indicates Knowledge of ACA Still Lacking
According to a poll conducted in January by the Kaiser Family
Foundation, a majority of the public believes that only "some" provisions
of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) have been implemented. This, in spite of
the significant implementation milestones that occurred January 1st,
including the requirement for individuals to have insurance, the opening
of Exchanges, and the provision of tax credits and cost sharing subsidies
to eligible individuals. Very few provisions, in fact, remain to be
implemented. When asked about specific elements of the law, awareness was
slightly higher than prior polling, yet nearly half of those surveyed
continue to indicate they do not have enough information to understand how
the law will impact their families.
In the absence of credible and
specific information, the public, including physicians and medical
practice administrators across North Carolina, will wonder if they know
all they need to know in order to make the best decisions...decisions that
impact an employee’s health care and a practice’s bottom line. We would
love to hear what you think? Do you feel you have enough information about
the health reform law to understand how it will impact your practice and
The agent consultants representing the NCMS Plan
can answer your questions and share how other medical practices are
adjusting to this new health care environment. For more information,
contact us at 1.800.662.7917 or e-mail Barry Hill, Director of Sales, at
Question: George, our practice has grown over the last year and we
are now subject to COBRA. What do I need to do or know about COBRA
Answer: COBRA regulations require that group
health plans provide certain employees and family members the option to
continue health insurance after coverage would normally be lost. All
employers who normally employed 20 or more employees on at least 50
percent of its working days during the prior calendar year are subject to
Your practice may have grown over the last year, but be
certain to calculate based on 50 percent of the calendar year. You may
find that you are not subject to COBRA until the following year.
Regardless of when you become subject to COBRA, the NCMS Plan does provide
COBRA administration through a partnership with Ceridian. Ceridian is a
trusted third party administrator that will reliably handle COBRA
compliance, elections, billing & reporting for continuants within your
group--at no charge to you! In fact, through our contract with Ceridian,
they will administer COBRA for not just your NCMS Plan health plan, but up
to five other COBRA-eligible plans, including dental and vision.
To start COBRA administration with Ceridian, simply send a letter
or email to me indicating
you want Ceridian services and we will take it from there. We will send
your group information and rate structure to Ceridian for set-up. Once you
are set-up with Ceridian, you will receive an implementation package with
instructions on how to work with Ceridian. After that, you just notify
Ceridian as folks leave employment and Ceridian will administer from that
If an employee elects COBRA, you will receive a
Participant Update from from Ceridian. Forward that to me and the
member's benefits will be reinstated and they will again appear on your
group billing statement until they terminate or exhaust the benefit.
Ceridian Client Services can be reached for assistance at (800)
488-8757. As always, you can contact me directly with an inquiry at (919)
878-7561 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Benefits of Wellness Programs: Numbers Don't Lie
As a leader within your practice, we challenge you to become part of
the solution that will positively impact the health of your employees,
change practice culture and help your employees understand the
relationship between their health, the premium they pay and the ultimate
cost of health benefit coverage to the practice. The problems we all share
are rising healthcare costs and a physically inactive workforce. At the
end of the day…we can’t afford not to address employee wellness.
Debunking myths about employer-sponsored wellness programs is the
first step in gaining buy-in from wellness skeptics. Myths like "an
employee's health is not any of my practice's business" or "a practice
wellness program is too expense." Jason Horay, the NCMS Plan's Health
Promotion Coordinator, is well equipped to clear up these misconceptions
and help you engage all levels of management in your practice to develop a
comprehensive strategy. In fact, Jason recently developed an easy-to-understand graphic clearly outlining the
benefits to your practice for creating or enhancing your practice’s
wellness program. Using proven strategies, at no additional cost to
participating practices, Jason can support you through the process.
Let’s work together to create a healthier future for your
Dietitian Referral Network Under Development: Your Feedback
Nutritional counseling can help your employees assess their diet and
set realistic, personal goals for better eating habits and a healthier
lifestyle. And healthier choices can help them manage health conditions,
such as weight management, diabetes, tobacco cessation, pregnancy and
The NCMS Plan is exploring the development of a referral network
of dietitians across the state who are employed by a NCMS Plan member
practice, and can provide nutrition counseling and presentations to
neighboring NCMS Plan practices.
Through this referral network we
can support NCMS Plan practices that employ dietitians by extending their
service beyond their practice and into the surrounding medical community.
NCMS Plan practices who receive on-site access to nutrition counseling
benefit by continuing to create a healthy work environment that help
employees make better choices and lead healthier lives.
Plan covers nutritional counseling visits, which may include ongoing
counseling to assess and adjust dietary intake in order to reach health or
fitness related goals. There is no limit to the number of nutritional
visits during the benefit plan year. As long as the dietitian is an
in-network provider, the session is considered a Preventive Screening,
If you haven’t done so already, please take a moment
a brief survey so we may assess the extent of dietitians affiliated
with a NCMS Plan practice and overall interest.
About the North Carolina Medical Society
Established in 1849, the North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) is
devoted to representing the interests of physicians and protecting the
quality of patient care as the largest physician organization in the
state. The NCMS Plan, sponsored by the NCMS, is the only statewide
employee benefits plan designed specifically for North Carolina
For more information about many other benefits of NCMS
membership, visit http://www.ncmedsoc.org/.