Serving Our Members in 2018
A Message from Our President
Oct. 16, 2017
Open enrollment marks that time of year when millions of people are making important decisions about their health care coverage. The last few months have been full of activity and as the debate on health care continues, one thing remains constant: our commitment to expanding access to affordable health coverage to all Oklahomans in a variety of situations and stages in their lives.
That’s why Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma (BCBSOK) is proud to once again offer plans to all Oklahomans, whether they get their coverage through their employer, the individual marketplace or a government program.
During open enrollment, we focus on providing information to our members when and where they need it, with greater transparency, choice and flexibility in their care. We are ready and here to help members choose the coverage that best meets their needs.
- We’re offering a variety of products and member benefits. In 2018, members can choose from a variety of individual plan options – both on and off the exchange - in every county across Oklahoma. We’ll also help our Medicare members identify the plan that best meets their needs, and our members who get coverage through their employer will once again have a variety of products, choices and benefits to choose from.
- We'll be with you through it all. Health care is complex, and we’re here to make sure it works for you. BCBSOK customer service and product specialists, community education teams and our suite of digital tools and resources – such as virtual visits, the enhanced BCBSOK mobile app, or our virtual assistant Jordyn – are available to assist members make more informed health care decisions.
- Making the health care system work for our members. There’s a lot going on behind the scenes at BCBSOK to make the health care system work better. We’re investing in systems, research and strategic partnerships to ensure our members have access to the best care from top quality networks of doctors and hospitals.
As we continuously fine tune HOW we do business – how we sell, enroll and provide customer service during open enrollment – we always remember that our members are WHY we do business. Whether you choose BCBSOK through the individual marketplace, a broker or your employer, our priority is to make sure you have the tools and resources you need to make the best decisions about coverage and use your care effectively. We’re here for you.
President, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma
What's Next: An Update on the Passing of the Tax Reform Bill
Dec. 20, 2017
The House and Senate passed the tax reform bill today, and the president is expected to sign it into law. The bill will end the Affordable Care Act's (ACA) individual mandate starting in 2019. This means individuals won't have to pay a tax penalty if they don't have health care coverage in 2019.
Nothing will change for our customers in 2018. The ACA individual mandate will still be in place for 2018. Customers who signed up for health coverage during open enrollment will be covered starting Jan. 1, 2018.
We believe that everyone should have access to affordable health care coverage. We’ll keep working with lawmakers and regulators on additional reforms to make coverage more affordable and encourage individuals to have continuous health coverage.
Lower Monthly Premiums Available for 2018 Individual Health Plans
Nov. 16, 2017
Many Oklahomans reviewing options for an individual health insurance plan may not be aware that financial assistance is available to help lower the cost of their monthly payment. In some cases, this assistance may cover the full premium cost. That means for those who qualify, the monthly cost for health coverage could be as low as $0 (for the 2018 coverage year).
We’re committed to helping you find the best fit for your health care needs and budget. To learn more about how to protect your health and finances, and save on monthly premium costs, you can:
- Call 855-636-8702 open every day from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. CT
- Contact your independent, authorized Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma (BCBSOK) agent
- Visit HereForYouBCBSOK.com to use our premium tax credit estimator and review your options
Visit a BCBSOK Mobile Assistance Center during one of our open enrollment events. Find an event near you.
Important Actions on Health Care from the White House
Oct. 25, 2017
Recent executive action, along with the announcement to stop funding of cost-sharing reduction payments (CSRs), has once again put a spotlight on health care. Regardless of the action taking place in Washington, D.C. one thing is certain: our continued focus on providing access to health care in Oklahoma.
The decision to stop the CSR payments doesn’t impact our market participation. BCBSOK has accounted for the concern around the federal government’s funding of the member’s CSR benefit in our rates.
It's also important to note that the Administration's decision on CSRs isn’t related to the Advanced Premium Tax Credit (APTC).The APTC is a federal aid available for people who earn less than 400 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL), and lowers the monthly premium for Marketplace (on-exchange) plans. The APTC is paid by the federal government straight to insurers each month. No payments are made directly to consumers.
We’ll share more news about the Executive Order and next steps as it becomes available.
Quarterly Drug List Updates for Employer Groups
Oct. 02, 2017
Each quarter, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma prescription drug lists for our group customers are reviewed and updated. Drugs can be added or removed from the lists due to pharmaceutical industry changes and to make sure the medications on the drug list are safe, effective and affordable.
It’s important to note that generic equivalents are available for most medications excluded from a drug list. Members should discuss any medication concerns with their doctor or pharmacist.
Fourth quarter changes for most non-regulated employer group plans go into effect on October 1, 2017. Affected members would have already received a letter detailing the updates.
Changes and effective dates may depend on group funding type (fully insured/self-funded), plan renewals and the specific prescription drug list the group has selected.