What's new for Small Businesses – Q1 2024
1-100 employees – Effective January 1, 2024
Medical plan updates
Introducing New Virtual BlueSM Plans!
A virtual-first plan made for you and your employees.
Today, employees expect more. Virtual Blue delivers with anytime, anywhere virtual care, $0 virtual visits, and in-person care when they want it—driving value for businesses of all sizes. Learn more.
Off-exchange PPO plan updates:
- Virtual Blue Platinum Tandem PPO 250/20
- Virtual Blue Silver Tandem PPO 2700/75
Impacted plans with cost share and name changes
You can visit the “Changes to your plan benefits” section of your renewal packet and on your renewal website for more details.
The Mirror Package for Small Business offers your employees the opportunity to purchase the same plans that Blue Shield is offering through Covered California for Small Business (CCSB).
A list of small business medical plans that changed names for 2024 can be found on the 2024 Employer small business plan names (PDF, 59K).
You can compare benefits of your current plan selection with these new plan options by using our Plan Comparison Tool. We have added new enhancements to help you find the best plan that fits you and your employees. With these enhancements, you’re able to:
- Compare multiple plans across multiple years to see changes and updates to our plans.
- Compare premium rates across all of our available plans for 2024.
- Use the network comparison tool to see current and future providers in our network.
Complete benefits for all of our small business plans can be found on Employer Connection.
For exact terms and conditions of coverage for all 2024 plan offerings, refer to the Evidence of Coverage for the plan, or contact your Blue Shield sales representative.
Programs that will benefit you and your employees
Comprehensive pregnancy and postpartum support, to manage the expected and the unexpected. This maternity program includes:
- Continuous care
- High-risk management
- Inclusive care
- Measurable results
- Referrals and coordination
More information is available on the Blue Shield Family Health Programs page.
CredibleMind mental health resource library
Members can find digital self-service tools, assessments, resources, and more – all with science-backed information and powered by CredibleMind.
Price Check My Rx for added cost savings
Employer group members now have a better way to manage their medication costs online. The Price Check My Rx tool creates a personalized experience with real-time information from the member’s formulary and benefits usage. Members can use the tool once logged into their Blue Shield account.
Prescription Savings Program
The SMS text-based Prescription Savings Program (PDF, 169 KB) offers discounts on member out-of-pocket costs for select medications and is designed to improve prescription drug affordability and medication adherence. Enrollment in the program is at no extra cost to the member. The amount members save depends on their benefit design and prescription refill frequency, but the more they fill on time, the more they can save.
Travel Reimbursement for Transplants
Effective 1/1/24 we are offering travel reimbursement for transplant services for your employees and a companion if deemed medically necessary to undergo their procedure.
Dental plans, vision plans*, and life insurance*, simplified
Dental plans being withdrawn
Thirteen plans (PDF, 56K) will be withdrawn from our Specialty portfolio beginning January 1, 2024, as part of our product transformation and portfolio simplification efforts. You will have the opportunity to choose any of our other available plan options. Refer to the plan mapping grid (PDF, 61K) to se your new plan, and available options.
Vision plan highlights
- Our 2024 new vision vendor is EyeMed
- EyeMed is taking over the administration of MES Vision benefits for your employees. For more than a year, EyeMed and MES have been working together to ensure a smooth transition
- Portfolio Vision Changes
- Optometric Out-of-Network visits now matches Ophthalmologic cost shares
- Eyeglass Frame Out-of-Network allowance increase
- Plano (non-prescription sunglasses) – New benefit cost share for out-of-network
- All vision plans include both Standard and Progressive Lenses (no-line bifocals) benefit
- Contact Lens Benefit Updates
- Electives – reduce out-of-network allowance to match out-of-network frame allowance
- Non-elective (medically necessary) – same cost share for hard and soft
Employer Connection and Employer Enrollment Tool Updates
We’ve made substantial updates to the Employer Connection portal with improved functionality and design. The new enhancements will make Employer Connection both easier and more secure to use. Here is what you can look forward to:
- Streamlined Administrator Experience: Easily access invoices, make payments, and find employee benefit information.
- Enhanced Security: We're implementing 2-Step Verification (PDF, 77K), previously referred to as Multi-factor Authentication, to provide an extra layer of protection to sensitive data, ensuring it stays secure at all times.
- Improved Notifications: We’re updating our communication tools, including real-time site notifications, to ensure access to the most up-to-date information about accounts and benefits.
- Faster Enrollments: Make changes, such as adding a new employee or dependent, effective in just a few minutes.
There is always a learning curve with a new system, so we’ve created a full suite of resources – training recordings, tutorial videos, user guides, etc. – to help guide you, all of which can be found on our administrator resources getting started page.
Autopay makes billing easy
Signing up for automatic payments is a great way to save time and effort when it comes to monthly billing. We’ve made it easy for you to sign up for autopay through Employer Connection. As long as there’s zero balance with no payment due, all you need to do is follow these steps to sign up:
- After log-in to the portal, hover over the BILLING tab at the top left of the home screen.
- In the drop-down menu. select BILLING OPTIONS.
- Enter your account information (checking or saving), and click the ADD ACCOUNT button.
- Go back to the BILLING tab and from the drop-down menu, and select AUTOPAYMENTS.
- Start a new autopayment.
- Select your group number from the drop down, then select your payment account from the second drop down. Hit the SAVE button.
Please note: currently, Blue Shield of California does not have a paperless billing option. Therefore, groups enrolled in autopay will still receive a paper statement every month.
For assistance, please contact Group Administrative Services by calling (800) 325-5166.
*Underwritten by Blue Shield of California Life & Health Insurance Company.