Category Archives: Individual Insurance

Insurance Coverage for Part-Time, Seasonal and Temporary Employees

Most employers are not able or willing to offer insurance coverage to their part-time, seasonal and temporary employees. However, they also understand the importance of having health insurance especially now that employees can incur significant fines for not having coverage.

Benefits Network’s Your Health Insurance Shop can help. Our Individual and Senior Product Specialists can help your employees who are otherwise ineligible for group coverage. Our team will:

  1. Determine if they are eligible for subsidies or tax credits
  2. Help choose a plan that includes their doctors and hospitals
  3. Select a plan that meets their health care needs and their budget

And the best part – there is never a fee for our help! A Your Health Insurance Shop representative can conduct an enrollment fair onsite at your place of work or schedule appointments with individuals at their convenience.

Contact your Benefits Network Consultant today about providing this service to your part-time, seasonal and temporary employees free of charge to you and your team.


Highmark SEP Off-Exchange Enrollment Online

Starting Feb. 21, 2015, you can complete the entire Special Enrollment Period (SEP) enrollment process for off-exchange plans online, including both the:

  • SEP attestation
  • Highmark application

This helps you save time (no more paper forms) and reduces opportunities for human error. That’s why we encourage you to use the online process to enroll your SEP customers in off-exchange plans.

Please see the SEP reference guide for information about how to use the online SEP enrollment process.

If you have any questions, please contact your Highmark individual sales channel consultant.

Highmark Announces Individual Plan Changes

In March 2014, the federal government announced that insurance carriers, with the consent of their state insurance commissioner, could offer individuals the option to renew existing, pre-2014 plans. The Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner has confirmed that Pennsylvania insurers have the option to do so.

After careful analysis, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield has decided to offer Community Blue PPO plan members the right to renew their pre-2014 plans in western Pennsylvania. This decision will impact approximately 2,000 members.

In addition, Highmark has decided to offer members in its existing grandfathered, medically underwritten individual plans the option to renew and continue coverage in these plans in 2015. These plans include:

  •  Keystone Blue
  • Complete Care

However, this means that the following Highmark plans will end Dec. 31, 2014:

  •  Advance Blue
  •  Direct Blue
  •  Simply Blue
  • PPO Blue

Members enrolled in these non-renewing medically underwritten plans will need to enroll in a new plan by Dec. 15, 2014 to ensure they have coverage effective Jan. 1, 2015.

Notifications will be sent to members with Keystone Blue, Complete Care and Community Blue PPO plans to let them know that their coverage will be renewed.

Members enrolled in the discontinued medically underwritten plans were notified last year that their plans were being discontinued. They will receive an additional letter the week of Sept. 22, 2014 reminding them that their current plan will be ending on Dec. 31, 2014, and they will need to choose a new plan during the upcoming open enrollment period. Also included in this letter will be directions for how they can request a free 2015 Health Insurance Planning Guide, which covers:

  • What they need to know before they start to shop for a new plan
  • How they may be able to save money with financial assistance
  • When they need to act to avoid a lapse in coverage

The letter also directs them to contact their producer to set up an appointment for the upcoming 2015 open enrollment period.

A future letter will specifically state that they need to enroll in the new plan by Dec. 15, 2014 to avoid any gap in coverage.

The member letters and 2015 Health Insurance Planning Guide will be shared with you in the near future.

New tool coming Nov. 15, 2014

A new quoting tool will be available on Nov. 15, 2014 on the Highmark producer portal. This tool will enable you to quickly pull quotes for existing individual members. With this tool, you can assist your clients whose plans are not renewing by helping them find and enroll in a plan that meets their needs.


Marketplace Specialists Coming To Your Community

Benefits Network’s Marketplace Specialists will be answering questions about subsidies and cost sharing, plan designs and networks in an effort to  help individuals secure individual coverage before the March 31st deadline.

Visit with one of our Marketplace Specialists in your community at the following dates and locations:

Allegheny Valley Library – Broadview Rd. Tarentum, PA – Tuesday, February 18th from 11:30AM – 6 PM

Springdale Free Public Library – School St. Springdale, PA – Thursday, February 20th from Noon – 6 PM

Canonsburg Library – North Jefferson Ave. Canonsburg, PA – Monday, February 24th from 11:30AM – 6:00PM

Millvale Community Library – Millvale, PA – Saturday, March 8th  Hours TBD

Allegheny Valley Library – Neighborhood 5 Galleria at the Mills Mall – Monday, March 10th from 11:30AM-6:00 PM