; Blue Cross And Blue Shield Federal Employee Program (FEP®) Debuts New Health Club Affinity Program And Enhanced Incentive Program For 2012
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Press Release

Blue Cross And Blue Shield Federal Employee Program (FEP®) Debuts New Health Club Affinity Program And Enhanced Incentive Program For 2012

New program offers FEP members low-fee memberships at 9,000 health clubs nationwide

September 27, 2011

WASHINGTON – Staying healthy is not only good for you, but it can be good for your wallet too. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Government-wide Service Benefit Plan, also known as the Federal Employee Program or FEP®, has announced a number of new programs that reward members who take steps toward a healthy lifestyle. Beginning in 2012, members can earn money for qualified medical expenses and take advantage of low-cost health club memberships at participating locations nationwide.

Both Standard Option and Basic Option members who complete a Blue Health Assessment will receive a $35 health debit card to use for qualified medical expenses. Members also can receive an additional $15 for completing up to three online coaching modules through Blue Health Connection. The modules cover a range of topics including weight management, stress relief, back pain, nutrition and more.

Additionally, in 2012, FEP members are eligible to participate in a unique affinity program for low-fee memberships at health clubs. FEP members will have the option of joining a health club network for just a $25 initiation fee and a $25 monthly fee.  Through the network, members will have access to more than 9,000 participating health club locations nationwide.

”We want to help our members live healthier lives. For 2012 we’ve added a variety of discounts and financial incentives to help people kick bad health habits and start good ones,” said Jena Estes, vice president of FEP for the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBSA).  “Additionally, FEP offers online tools and information that help people make better healthcare choices and choose the best doctors and hospitals to meet their healthcare needs.”

Additional benefits new for 2012 include an enhanced generic pharmacy benefit for members who participate in Medicare Part B and additional financial incentives for diabetic members who take advantage of diabetes management educational opportunities and appropriate treatment activities. The Diabetes Management Incentive Program is designed to provide critical health education to people with diabetes, to help assist people with diabetes in improving their blood sugar control, and help them manage or slow the progression of complications related to diabetes.

FEP members will continue to have access to an array of easy-to-use online tools, including WalkingWorks®, MyBlue Personal Health Record, Blue Health Assessment and Blue Health Connection, where members can get personalized service and access to many online resources, such as an Audio Health Library, with hundreds of articles available online or that members can download to their mp3 player.  

Standard Option and Basic Option Premiums In 2012

In 2012, Standard Option out-of-pocket cost will decrease by $0.81 for single coverage for a biweekly total out-of-pocket cost of $85.58. The family out-of-pocket biweekly premium is $198.48, representing a decrease of $0.72 from 2011 rates.

For Basic Option the employee out-of-pocket contribution will increase by $3.93 for single and by $9.20 for family coverage. For single coverage, the new biweekly total will be $56.25.  The new biweekly total for family coverage will be $131.73.

All changes will go into effect on January 1, 2012. Federal employees, retirees and their families will make their healthcare coverage decisions during Open Season which runs from November 14 through December 12. 

Additional information about 2012 benefits will be available on FEP’s Web site at www.fepblue.org.  Starting October 17, 2011, members can call the Open Season Information Center at 1.800.411.BLUE for additional benefit information.

In an effort to “go green,” FEP has joined with the other FEHBP carriers and OPM this Open Season to implement a going green initiative. Instead of automatically receiving paper copies of health plan brochures, members can quickly and easily view a copy of the Service Benefit Plan brochure after October 17, 2011 on the FEP website or on the OPM website, www.opm.gov/insure, or they can call the FEP Open Season Information Center to request a printed brochure.

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Government-wide Service Benefit Plan has been part of the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) since its inception in 1960.  FEP covers over 5.2 million federal employees, retirees and their families out of the more than 8 million people (contract holders as well as their dependents) who receive their benefits through FEHBP.  For more than 50 years, FEP has developed offerings that keep premiums affordable while providing innovative benefits to its members. BCBSA works with the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to administer the Service Benefit Plan on behalf of the 39 independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies.  For more information about FEP, please visit www.fepblue.org.

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association is a national federation of 36 independent, community-based and locally-operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies that collectively provide healthcare coverage for more than 105 million members – one-in-three Americans.  For more information on the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and its member companies, please visit bcbs.com. We encourage you to connect with us on Facebook, check out our videos on YouTube, follow us on Twitter and check out The BCBS Blog, for up-to-date information about BCBSA.