New Market-Leading Health Plans From Independence Blue Cross Offer More For Your Money
Enhancements Include Flexibility, Wellness Options for Small- and Mid-Sized Businesses at No Added Cost
August 7, 2012
PHILADELPHIA - Independence Blue Cross (IBC) announces the launch of six new health care plans specifically designed to help lower overall health care costs for employers with two to 99 employees. The enhanced products are available now for coverage effective October 1, and offer employers at no added cost wellness value-added programs, such as Healthy Lifestyles(SM) Rewards and Blue Bucks, which reward employees for participating in wellness activities to improve their health.
The six new plans -- three for Blue Solutions(R) and three for Blue Solutions(R) Plus -- feature deductible levels ranging from $1,500 to $4,500 and are designed to be offered in coordination with Health Reimbursement Accounts (HRAs). HRAs allow an employer to set aside funds to reimburse medical expenses paid by participating employees, and they provide the employer with flexible, affordable ways to offer quality health coverage. This type of health plan helps to drive down employers' overall health care costs and allows employers to share premium savings with employees.
"For nearly 75 years, Independence Blue Cross has been a trusted leader in the region, continually developing innovative health and wellness solutions, and exceeding the expectations of our customers," said Daniel J. Hilferty, IBC president and CEO. "Now, by offering the only small group health plans in our market that feature wellness solutions, we are demonstrating our commitment to the health and well-being of our customers -- no matter how many employees they have. It's just one more way that we're changing the game to benefit our customers."
Added Brett Mayfield, IBC vice president of sales: "These strategic additions to our existing Blue Solutions and Blue Solutions Plus portfolios add three key elements to better serve our customers: we fill a void in the small- to mid-size group product marketplace; we reward our members who improve their health; and we do both without adding any additional costs to employers. By pairing our Blue Solutions high deductible plans with Healthy Lifestyles Rewards, we also provide employers with an incentive program that engages their employees in health and wellness activities."
The new health plans are already generating interest among area brokers who serve small to mid-sized employers.
"There is no other small group product in our market offering the wellness benefits that Independence Blue Cross has built into its product portfolio," said Ed Chorzelewski, president at Brown & Brown Consulting. "The enhancements to the Blue Solutions product line are appealing because they offer employers the best of both worlds. The HRA component allows them to incent healthy behavior in employees with Healthy Lifestyles(SM) Rewards points. And the employees themselves are being provided with the tools they need to make healthy choices, which ultimately leads to a healthier workforce. The bonus is that the product comes from IBC -- a known and respected company."
Healthy Lifestyles(SM) Rewards
For the first time, the Healthy Lifestyles(SM) Rewards value-added program will be available to all IBC small group customer accounts. This innovative, incentive-based, online wellness program must be paired with an HRA, Health Savings Account (HSA), or any high-deductible health plan, and is offered with no administrative fees to the employer or the employee. Through Healthy Lifestyles(SM) Rewards, employees engage in a variety of wellness activities to earn HealthPoints, including:
- Losing weight
- Quitting smoking
- Getting preventative screenings
- Talking with a health coach
HealthPoints ultimately equate to dollars that employers deposit into an HRA or HSA spending account to offset employee deductibles. Every month, employers receive a monthly earnings report that lets them know how many HealthPoints their employees earned.
Spending Blue Bucks on Worksite Wellness
For new customers with 51 to 99 employees who purchase a Blue Solutions Plus plan, IBC is providing Blue Bucks to spend on a new Worksite Wellness Program. Blue Bucks offers onsite activities to boost employee well-being that span multiple years and involve no cost to employers or employees.
Year-one Blue Bucks can be used for:
- Biometric screenings
- Customized seminars
- Onsite flu shots
- Access to online tools and educational videos
Year two features all of the same services from year one, plus program enhancements such as a pedometer walking program or an online employee wellness challenge.
The Worksite Wellness Program, designed to help improve medical cost savings for employers, will be included in all new Blue Solutions Plus sales beginning October 1. Employers interested in Blue Solutions for businesses with two to 50 employees or Blue Solutions Plus for businesses with 51 to 99 employees can speak to their brokers about getting a quote for their next plan renewal.
About Independence Blue Cross
Independence Blue Cross is a leading health insurer in southeastern Pennsylvania. Nationwide, Independence Blue Cross and its affiliates provide coverage to nearly 3.1 million people. For nearly 75 years, Independence Blue Cross has offered high-quality health care coverage tailored to meet the changing needs of members, employers, and health care professionals. Independence Blue Cross is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Visit us at ibx.com. Fan us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter@ibx.
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 106 million members 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.