WASHINGTON- Today the Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) Government-wide Service Benefit Plan, also known as the Federal Employee Program (FEP), announced 2016 benefits for federal workers and retirees in the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program. The benefits feature a 50 percent increase in the incentives available to members who use FEP’s state-of-the-art wellness tools to promote healthier lifestyles as well as a new incentive program for expectant mothers that focuses on prenatal care.
In 2016, FEP will continue to offer workers the ability to choose Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans for a full range of comprehensive benefits – including medical, dental and vision.
This year also marks the federal government’s introduction of the new Self Plus One enrollment in the FEHB Program, providing an additional choice to Self- Only and Self and Family enrollment types available under both Standard and Basic Option. Enrollees in two-person families can save money by opting for a Self Plus One premium instead of a Family premium while continuing to benefit from the comprehensive plan design and broad network access they have come to expect from FEP.
Promoting Healthier Lifestyles
Long committed to encouraging and empowering members to take charge of their health and healthcare decisions, FEP offers members access to an innovative suite of online wellness tools. This year, FEP will expand the incentives available to members who want to develop and strengthen behaviors that improve health and promote healthier lifestyles. Members can now earn up to $170, up 50 percent from last year’s maximum, on their MyBlue Wellness Card to pay for qualified medical expenses after completing the Blue Health Assessment (BHA) and achieving personal health goals.
To earn the $170, FEP members can:
- Earn a $50 wellness incentive upon completion of the BHA
- Earn $40 each for achieving up to three personalized health goals
The personalized health goals currently eligible for the incentive are:
- Increased exercise
- Healthier nutrition habits
- Weight management
- Reduced stress
- Better emotional health
Introducing Pregnancy Incentive Care Program
New in 2016, FEP will launch the Pregnancy Care Incentive Program to encourage early prenatal care to help keep expectant mothers and their babies healthy. The Pregnancy Care Incentive Program offers resources to assist new mothers during pregnancy and offers an additional $75 incentive.
“We want to help our members live healthier lives, and so we’re pleased to offer increased financial incentives to help people start, and sustain, healthy habits,” said William A. Breskin, vice president, government programs for BCBSA. “We are doing this while continuing to offer federal workers access to the Blue Cross and Blue Shield System’s broad networks of doctors and hospitals, quality coverage and innovative approaches to care. We will continue to offer discounts on great products and other services, making it easier and more cost-effective for members to maintain a healthier, and happier, lifestyle.”
Providing Patient-Focused Care and Access to Broad Provider Network
FEP will continue to provide federal employees with a broad portfolio of care programs that emphasize quality care and a patient-focused approach that leads to better health outcomes. These innovative programs have been shown to reduce unnecessary emergency room visits, hospital admissions and readmissions, and other costly and unneeded medical interventions by incentivizing better coordinated care to keep chronic conditions in check.
Federal workers who choose FEP also have access to the extensive network of doctors and hospitals created by the independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies operating throughout the U.S. That network includes more than 96 percent of hospitals and 92 percent of doctors and other medical practitioners nationwide — more than any other insurer.
In addition, FEP members have access to nationally designated facilities that demonstrate expertise in delivering cost-efficient patient care safely and effectively for select specialty care procedures. These facilities, called Blue Distinction Centers® and Blue Distinction Centers+®, are the same state-of-the-art programs that 86 percent of Fortune 100 companies use and are located nationwide, making them easy to find wherever federal employees live, work or travel.
FEP members can also complement their health benefits by signing up for the Blue365® program, which offers exclusive discounts and savings on products and services that help them navigate the healthcare decision-making process and maintain a healthier lifestyle. FEP members are among the more than 55 million Blue Cross and Blue Shield members who have access to Blue365.
Standard and Basic Options Premiums
- Self Only biweekly premiums will be $100.18
- Self Plus One biweekly premium will be $231.31
- Self and Family biweekly premiums will be $238.24
- Self Only biweekly premiums will be $68.48
- Self Plus One biweekly premium will be $160.75
- Self and Family biweekly premiums will be $164.20
FEP BlueVision® Premiums in 2016
- Self Only biweekly premiums will be $5.11
- Self Plus One biweekly premium will be $10.23
- Self and Family biweekly premiums will be $15.34
- Self Only biweekly premiums will be $3.83
- Self Plus One biweekly premium will be $7.66
- Self and Family biweekly premiums will be $11.48
The FEP BlueVision® network consists of more than 27,000 ophthalmologists, optometrists, opticians, as well as national and regional retailers. In-network coverage includes: annual eye exams with no co-pays; new glasses or contact lenses every 12 or 24 months; elective allowance for contact lens; one-year warranty on frames and lenses; and discounts on laser eye surgery.
FEP BlueDental® Premiums in 2016
- Self Only biweekly premiums will be $17.34
- Self Plus One biweekly premium will be $34.69
- Self and Family biweekly premiums will be $52.03
- Self Only biweekly premiums will be $9.70
- Self Plus One biweekly premium will be $19.41
- Self and Family biweekly premiums will be $29.11
As dental rates depend upon the rate region in which a member lives, these rates are for FEP BlueDental’s most populous region, Region 1.
All changes will take effect on Jan. 1, 2016. Federal employees, retirees and their families will make their healthcare coverage decisions during Open Season, which runs from Nov. 9 through Dec. 14, 2015.
Additional information about 2016 benefits is available on FEP’s website at www.fepblue.org. Starting Nov. 2, 2015, members can call the Open Season Information Center at 1-800-411-BLUE (2583) for additional benefits information.
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