March 2018

In This Issue
•95% Would Recommend the NCMS Plan to Others
•Cybersecurity Webinar, April 12th at 11:30am
•IRS Reduces Family HSA Limit by $50 for 2018
•My Pregnancy App
•Looking for a Dynamic Speaker For Your Association Meeting?
•Ask Rachel
•Practice Wellness Grant Program
•Celebrate and Eat Healthy

95% Would Recommend the NCMS Plan to Others

The 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 24%.

So what do NCMS Plan practices think about our service and benefits? Let's look at the numbers:

•97% of respondents rated our service as good or excellent.

•90% agreed that the NCMS Plan is doing its best to provide affordable coverage.

•97% responded positively when asked about the accessibility and responsiveness of our agents.

•95% would recommend the NCMS Plan to other practices.

Though some respondents felt that the cost of health insurance was too high, we work hard to keep rates as low as possible while maintaining the financial strength of the NCMS Plan. In fact, with improving claims trends and fiscally responsible asset management, the NCMS Plan’s Board of Trustees approved lower health insurance rates. While not every practice will see a decrease in their premium due to utilization and demographics, many practices will welcome the reduction as they renew throughout 2018.

What makes our NCMS Plan unique is that it only exists as an extension of the physician and medical practice community. We are here to support you and sustain healthy competition in the employee benefit marketplace for physicians and medical practices.

We appreciate your feedback each year, but please don't wait until our Customer Survey comes out to provide us your feedback. If you have suggestions or concerns throughout the year, send me an e-mail,


Cybersecurity Webinar, April 12th at 11:30am

Please join us for our next NCMS Plan Employment Law Webinar on Thursday, April 12th from 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Held Hostage and Under Siege:
Managing Risk from the Front Lines of the Cyber War

Register Here!

Cyber threats to your practice are a reality. The question isn’t “if” it’s going to happen, but “when”. With proper cybersecurity protocols in place, you can minimize your risk and reduce your liability. This webinar will discuss how to be prepared and how to take the proper precautions to protect your practice and your patients, including:

• Understanding and Managing the requirements of the Privacy and Security Rule under HIPAA.
• How best to manage third parties through well-crafted business associate agreements.
• Stories from the field: how to practically manage cyber risks in an increasingly hostile world.
• Learning what is and is not covered by your professional liability policy and understanding the need for additional coverage.

Presented by: David Katz, Partner, Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP; Cliff Baker, Managing Partner, Meditology Services; and Vickie Denton, Account Service Manager, Medical Mutual

~ Register for this event by Thursday, April 5th ~

Register Here!


IRS Reduces Family HSA Limit by $50 for 2018

The family contribution limit for health savings accounts in 2018 was reduced to $6,850 from $6,900, said a recent announcement from the Internal Revenue Service. The change, announced March 5, is the result of a provision in the 2017 tax reform bill that changed the way inflation-related increases are calculated. The individual contribution limit has not changed since the IRS announced HSA contribution limits in 2017. The individual contribution limit to HSAs in 2018 remains $3,450.


My Pregnancy App

Pregnancy can be both exciting and concerning for mothers-to-be. But what if there was an app with information from a trusted source to answer common questions and help track the progress of a pregnancy?

The NCMS Plan's administrator, Blue Cross NC, stepped up to the challenge by launching a mobile application to support expectant mothers. My Pregnancy replaces the existing Healthy Outcomes Maternity program.

My Pregnancy was developed by a board-certified obstetrician, along with nurse midwives and other medical experts. All content is compliant with current practice patterns, and adheres to evidence-based clinical guidelines. Confidential, HIPAA-compliant, and free from advertising, My Pregnancy will quickly become a trusted source of information for our pregnant members.

My Pregnancy is the first maternity app to include a built-in feature identifying potential risks and seamlessly connecting members with obstetric nurses for extra support. Its easy-to-use features offer access to timely and fun information to help during every stage of pregnancy. You’ll find:

•Pregnancy and post-partum surveys
•Due date and weight gain calculators
•Week-by-week updates and ultrasound videos
•Important pregnancy milestones, based on the baby’s gestational age
•Daily tips and affirmations
•A baby kick counter
•A Baby Boost relaxation tool
•A symptom search for real-time advice
•A click-to-call feature to connect with a nurse 24/7

While the app does not provide specific information about what’s covered under a member’s medical plan, My Pregnancy does link to Blue Cross NC tools such as Find a Doctor, Lactation Counseling Services, and more. And expecting mothers are offered a birth plan template, a place to keep track of questions between provider visits, and a baby growth, feeding, and diaper tracker to use once the baby is born.

My Pregnancy is free and available for Apple iPhones through Apple iTunes, and Android devices through Google Play. To download My Pregnancy, search the app store for “My Pregnancy Blue Cross NC”. Members will be asked to enter their subscriber ID to verify eligibility, and create a user account.


Looking for a Dynamic Speaker For Your Association Meeting?

Hear from a leader who is helping healthcare professionals thrive and seeking to make the world a better place one practice at a time.

Jason Horay, MS, ATC, CHES, serves as the NCMS Plan’s Health Promotion Program Manager. Jason holds a B.S. in Sports Medicine, M.S. in Health Promotion, is a Certified Health Education Specialist, has over a decade of experience in worksite wellness, and was named one of the Top 100 Health Promotion Professionals in the country by the Wellness Council of America. He is the Chair of the Triangle Health Promotion Network and teaches a variety of undergraduate and graduate level health promotion and public health courses.

He is available to speak on the following topics:

• Discovering Professional Fulfillment through Personal Resilience and a Culture of Wellness
• How to Build a Wellness Program That Works
• Well-being for Healthcare Professionals: Pieces of the Whole

Contact Jason Horay at (919) 878-7530 or


Ask Rachel

Question: Rachel, we have an employee that would like to enroll in NCMS Plan medical coverage. When are they eligible to enroll? Can it be at any time they choose?

Answer: In order to enroll in NCMS Plan medical coverage the employee must:

1. Meet the full-time employee eligibility defined by your practice, either 24 or 30 hours per week, and

2. complete the applicable probationary period selected by your practice.

If employees wish to enroll outside of their initial eligibility period or your practice's annual medical open enrollment period they must have a qualifying event. Below are some examples of qualifying events:

•Getting Married
•Obtaining a dependent through birth, court order, adoption, placement in anticipation of adoption or foster care placement of an eligible child
•The employee or their dependents lose coverage under another health plan

If one of these qualifying events is met, then the employee and/or dependents can be added within 30 days of the qualifying event.

NCMS Plan dental coverage (underwritten by MetLife) works differently than NCMS Plan medical coverage. If an eligible employee does not enroll in NCMS Plan dental coverage when first eligible following their probationary period, they will be considered a late entrant subject to a benefit waiting period if they enroll later without a qualifying event. There is no annual open enrollment for NCMS Plan dental coverage.

If you have questions about eligibility, qualifying events, or enrollment, please email me at


Practice Wellness Grant Program

Building an effective and successful health promotion strategy requires support. The NCMS Plan is pleased to announce the Practice Wellness Grant Program designed to provide financial grants (up to $100 per enrolled employee) to participating groups that achieve CORE components and goals that are key elements of an effective health promotion program.

Join your fellow NCMS Plan practices that are launching sustainable health promotion programs OR expand an existing program. The following practices are just of few that are actively working towards receiving Grant dollars:

•Asheville Eye
•Cabarrus Rowan Community Health
•Hospice and Palliative Care Charlotte Region
•Delaney Radiology
•Mt. Olive Family Practice
•Stedman Wade Health Services
•Surf Pediatrics
•Triad Adult Family Medicine

Want to join this list? Contact Jason Horay at (919) 878-7530 or


Celebrate and Eat Healthy

Eating healthy can sometimes be a little overwhelming. The shopping, food prep and cooking the right way may be frustrating, making it easier to throw in the towel and go back to your old ways. From a recent survey, found that “…of those who diet regularly, two out of five quit within the first seven days, one out of five last a month, and of the same number, just 20% make it to the three-month mark.” That’s where Total Nutrition Technology (TNT) can help. TNT partners with the NCMS Plan to provide the following services to participating practices:

• On-site skill-building workshops
• Grocery store tours
• In-home pantry makeovers

These TNT services by Registered Dietitians are 100% covered for NCMS Plan members. To get started on your practice’s healthier journey and to understand what services are available in your area, complete the Needs Assessment Form and you will be contacted by a TNT specialist to outline a nutrition journey customized for your practice.


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 physicians.

For more information about many other benefits of NCMS membership, visit