10 Dec 2019
BCS Financial Icon

BCS Financial First to Offer Group Critical Illness Product With Optional Rider for Four Severe Mental Health Crises

First-of-its-kind, EssentialCare Critical Illness enables employers and brokers to provide employees and consumers with added financial protection in the event of a severe mental health crisis.

In April 2019, BCS Financial Corporation rolled out a groundbreaking, first-of-its-kind critical illness product with an optional rider to provide coverage for four severe mental health crises including severe major depressive disorder, severe bipolar I disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and schizophrenia.

Employers are increasingly recognizing the impact mental health has on their employees, including absenteeism, significantly reduced productivity, and increased health care and disability costs. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 19.1 percent of U.S. adults experienced mental illness in 2018 (47.6 million people) while nearly five percent of all Americans (11.4 million people) experienced a severe mental illness.

“Almost 80 percent of employers consider mental health important to their overall strategy and are looking to brokers to help them support physical, mental, and financial wellness in the workplace,” explains Bruce Bahn, BCS vice president, Product. “EssentialCare Critical Illness is currently available to large group employers and pairs well with a major medical health plan. It is sold through benefit brokers and specialists.”

The product provides fixed payments in the event of a covered diagnosis. The payments, which range from $5,000 to $30,000, depending on the policy, are made directly to the insured to use how they see fit – whether it’s to pay for deductibles, co-pays, coinsurance, inpatient/outpatient treatment, or anything else they may need to recover.

In addition to the groundbreaking mental health coverage, EssentialCare Group Critical Illness also provides coverage for 35 physical critical illnesses, eight childhood conditions, and a robust set of benefits that provide financial assistance for caregiver and support services that fit today’s consumer lifestyle.

EssentialCare Critical Illness has been recognized by the insurance industry as a finalist for the 2019 Insurance Nexus “New Product of the Year” and “North American Contribution to Society” awards.

To learn more about this product and take advantage of the offering during this current open enrollment period, visit bcsf.com.

About BCS Financial Corporation (BCS)

BCS Financial Corporation has more than 70 years of experience delivering a wide-range of insurance and financial solutions for Blue Cross and Blue Shield organizations nationwide. Through its subsidiaries, BCS Insurance Company and 4 Ever Life Insurance Company, BCS is licensed in all 50 states and is rated A- (Excellent) by A.M. Best. BCS Financial is headquartered in Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois. Learn more at bcsf.com.

Media Contact:
Nathan Post
​Phone: 630-472-7860

09 Dec 2019

Meet the Team – Accounting

We close out the year with a look into our Accounting department. Ami Starks, Senior Accountant, describes her team’s role at BCS, the skills someone needs to succeed, how she got started with BCS, and her favorite thing about the holidays.

Q: Describe you/your team’s role at BCS.

A: I am a Senior Accountant for BCS in the Program Accounting area. Our main role is to process reinsurance activity to outside reinsurers and inter-companies each month. These transactions and the timely settlement of balances between reinsurers are very important for BCS to ensure that we manage our net retained risk.  In addition, we are responsible to monitor all the different insurance product lines/management programs to ensure that they are running according to forecast. We analyze all the different components (gross written premium, claim activity, loss ratios, commission activity, etc.) that lead to the contribution to profit and overhead.   This work is very rewarding and challenging, and what I love the most about my job is that each product and each month is so different from each other.

Outside of accounting, I am also part of the Wellness Team. The team encourages employees to find healthy lifestyles. Some of the ways we have encouraged the company to take healthy steps was by creating a Wallyball league during lunch time, installing new vending machines with healthier snack options, bringing in massage therapists to help reduce stress, and hosting a chili cook-off.

Q: What skills does someone need to succeed in your role?

A: The two main skills needed to succeed in my role are organization and time management. By knowing what steps need to be completed first you get the most out of your time. There are a lot of tight deadlines that need to be met so if you have your work organized in the right flow, you’ll be good to go!

Q: How long have you been with the company?

A: I have been with BCS for a little over four years. I started as an accounting intern for six months, and then transitioned to a full-time employee. Since I was an intern, I feel I was able to get a “sneak-peak” of the company. With this sneak-peak I was able to see how friendly the staff was and the unique-ness of the work. These two things are what drew me to accept a full-time position.

Q: Describe your department in three words.

A: Efficient, detail-oriented, and reliable.

Q: What’s your favorite thing about the approaching holidays?

A: My favorite thing about the approaching holidays is the non-stop Christmas movies being played on the Hallmark Channel. Each movie has the same predictable love story, but I cannot get enough. I love watching!

26 Nov 2019

Meet the Team – President and CEO

As you may have read in our recent press release, Peter Costello has been named President & CEO of BCS, effective December 1, succeeding retiring CEO Scott Beacham.

This special edition Meet the Team serves as a more intimate introduction to Peter, where he shares what he’s learned over his two decades of experience in healthcare and technology, what he’s most excited about at BCS, and more.

Q: What have you learned that will help you guide the company throughout next year?

 A: In my 25 years in business, I’ve learned:

  • Stay close to the market and your customers – understand their problems and needs and that will point you in the right direction. Cultivating current customers is always cheaper than conquering new markets.
  • You have to know your strengths – that along with knowing your customers’ needs will give you your next vector.
  • All successful business cultures have both a sense of urgency and a sense of scarcity. Urgency is understanding that all opportunities have a window of availability, and that window is getting smaller all the time. Scarcity means you can’t do everything; our time and treasure is limited. If you build on your strengths, you’ll have a better chance of winning.
  • People are the most important resource we have – we have to hire, develop, and retain good people who want to do the right thing, want to learn, want to lead, want to tackle tough challenges, and want to win.
  • Diversity makes us stronger – different ideas, different backgrounds, different beliefs are important to making a difference.
  • Showing up every day and doing your best leads to long term success. Some days you’ll get kicked in the face, some days you’ll have big wins. Plan on, expect and accept the first, and you’ll have plenty of the second.
  • Communicating openly, honestly and frequently is important to building trust and building teamwork. Good communication liberates and empowers people.
  • We have to expect and demand excellence – in our thinking, and in our execution. Demand it in myself first, then in others.

Q: What was the path you took to get to where you are today?

 A: My parents taught me the importance of having faith, being generous, having a sense of humor, unconditional love, a strong moral compass, education and family – that’s a solid foundation to start on.

My service in the Navy taught me the importance of following a dream, of a clear mission as a unifying objective, the sense of a shared sacrifice, and the importance in working in teams and delegating responsibility and trusting others to do their job. It also taught me that you have to be accountable and hold others accountable.

My work in the not-for-profit Blue world taught me about how the health care industry works and the value of social responsibility.

My wife and my children have taught me humility – it keeps us all grounded and human.

My work as an entrepreneur taught me the value of taking calculated risks, the importance of being optimistic, persistent and resilient. Entrepreneurs are all those things. We all should be.

Endurance sports taught me the value of persistency – getting out every day, good weather and bad, and getting the miles in. It also taught me the value in using goals as a motivation. No one likes the first few miles or the pain in the late miles but getting to the finish line is made all the better by overcoming the difficulties in getting there. Setting goals and showing up every day to work towards those goals is important.

Q: What excites you about being the CEO of BCS?

A: I’m excited about working with our team at BCS to bring solutions to the problems that face our customers. There are a lot of problems to solve and I believe we’re in a unique position to solve them. I’m super excited about that. I’m excited about working together to build a culture of joy and fun and doing great things as we do it.

Q: What have been some of the biggest challenges you’ve had to overcome?

 A: Being away from family during my years in the Navy was difficult. Being away from my family while working at BCS has been difficult as well. But the bright side is that I appreciate them all the more now.

Q: Who or what has shaped who you are?

 A: My parents, my brothers and sisters, the people I have worked with and worked for, my family. More recently, Scott [Beacham, retiring BCS CEO] has been a great mentor and a great example of the value of being principled, being consistent, caring for each other and finding comfort in your own skin. I’ll miss him.

Q: What is your favorite marathon that you’ve ran, and why?

 A: The Chicago Marathon – all the people come out to cheer you on, the music and the energy is glorious. I love the Boston Marathon too, although it’s been a long time since I ran it, as you have to train during the winter. Running for three hours to train when there are only a few hours of daylight is tough but crossing the finish line in the Spring makes it all worth it.

25 Nov 2019

Scott Beacham to Retire; Peter Costello named President and Chief Executive Officer of BCS Financial Corporation

For the full release via Newswire, visit https://www.newswire.com/news/scott-beacham-to-retire-peter-costello-named-president-and-chief-21039889 

Board names Peter Costello as successor for retiring CEO Scott Beacham

OAKBROOK TERRACE, Ill., November 25, 2019 – BCS Financial, an insurance and financial services corporation, announces that Peter Costello has been promoted to President and Chief Executive Officer, effective December 1. Costello will succeed Scott Beacham, who is retiring after serving as the company’s CEO and a member of the Board since March 2008.

Said Costello, “This is an exciting time in our industry, and I am excited to continue to propel BCS forward as we adapt with the changing marketplace, and continue to provide the growth, diversification, and protection solutions Blue Plans and brokers have expected from us.”

The announcement, which expands upon a May 2019 announcement naming Costello as President and COO, was approved by the Board of Directors during the November Board meeting.

“Since Peter joined BCS in 2014, he has built an impressive track record of strategic and operational accomplishments,” said Board Chairman Daniel J. Loepp. “The Board and I are confident that Peter is the right person to build on the momentum and take BCS to its next stage of growth.”

Costello previously served as the company’s Chief Operating Officer, and brings more than 20 years of experience in healthcare and technology to his new role. Prior to joining BCS in 2014, Costello was Senior Vice President at Cogito Corp., a behavior analytics company named by Inc. Magazine as one of 2014’s fastest growing companies. Peter served as Vice President at both Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts and Excellus Health Plan, and co-founded two technology-based startups. Peter also served as an officer in the United States Navy.

About BCS Financial Corporation

BCS Financial Corporation has more than 70 years of experience delivering a wide-range of insurance and financial solutions for Blue Cross and Blue Shield organizations nationwide. Through its subsidiaries, BCS Insurance Company and 4 Ever Life Insurance Company, BCS is licensed in all 50 states and is rated A- (Excellent) by A.M. Best. BCS Financial is headquartered in Oakbrook Terrace, Ill. Learn more at bcsf.com.

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For more information, please contact Nathan Post at 630.472.7860.

05 Nov 2019

BCS Partners With Virtual Benefits Administrator (VBA) as Administrative Platform for Award-Winning EssentialCare Products

Partnership will allow for enhanced administration and engagement for Blue Plans, brokers and clients

BCS Financial (BCS) has entered into an agreement with Virtual Benefits Administrator (VBA) to be its administrative platform for the award-winning EssentialCare ancillary product line on the state-of-the-art, secure, cloud-based platform. BCS EssentialCare Group Accident, Critical Illness, and Hospital Indemnity products will be available through VBA beginning Nov. 1, 2019.

VBA is a proactive, leading-edge software company that provides comprehensive insurance solutions. Through the partnership, BCS will have robust functionality and flexibility to administer its EssentialCare ancillary business line, while allowing for enhanced user engagement for brokers and their clients.

“Our goal is to simplify the administration of these products for brokers and their clients and provide an exceptional customer experience for those purchasing and using our products,” said BCS Vice President, Service and Operations, Chris Kurtenbach. “Working with VBA provides us with a highly configurable platform that gives us the flexibility and support to ensure exceptional administration and service.”

Brokers and clients will have access to features such as: robust reporting with real-time interactive dashboards, mobile access to view activity, claims, and ID cards, online claims processing and payment, and more. Brokers and their clients can also utilize the Total Enrollment Solution portal offered by VBA, which engages and educates employees about benefit offerings, streamlines customer service, and can be personalized for the employer and employee.

“VBA prides itself on being able to service client needs as an extension of both their business staff and IT staff. With VBA Services we are more than just a software system, we are a solutions provider. Helping our clients solve industry problems with a combination of leading-edge software and dedicated, experienced services staff is rewarding for us and our client,” commented VBA VP Operations and Payer Solutions, Rachel Lanser.

In addition to the advanced technology, the partnership will provide best practice sharing and process automation to increase efficiencies and making it easier than ever for Blue Plans, brokers, and employer groups to do business with BCS.

About BCS Financial Corporation (BCS)

BCS Financial Corporation has more than 70 years of experience delivering a wide-range of insurance and financial solutions for Blue Cross and Blue Shield organizations nationwide. Through its subsidiaries, BCS Insurance Company and 4 Ever Life Insurance Company, BCS is licensed in all 50 states and is rated A- (Excellent) by A.M. Best. BCS Financial is headquartered in Oakbrook Terrace, Ill. Learn more at bcsf.com.

About Virtual Benefits Administrator (VBA)

Virtual Benefits Administrator (VBA) is a proactive, leading-edge software design company providing comprehensive solutions to the insurance industry for nearly 20 years. Uniquely delivered on a secure, cloud-based platform, VBA provides one common architecture for all Benefit Administration. Our software development process focuses on continuous improvement to address the requirements of the ever-changing healthcare industry. This empowers our clients to focus on business strategy and growth while streamlining their operations. Learn more about VBA at www.vbasoftware.com.

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For more information, please contact Nathan Post at 630.472.7860.

21 Oct 2019
Meet the Team - Cyber

Meet the Team – Cyber

Meet the Team – Chad Chaffin

October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, so we are taking a peek into a day in the life of cyber team member, Chad Chaffin. Chad is Vice President, Property & Casualty Underwriting, with responsibility for our Cyber insurance products, along with Agent E&O.

 Q: What does a typical day at BCS look like for you?

A: As a small company relative to our direct E&O and cyber liability competitors, we are in a unique position of taking on many roles and responsibilities.  This allows us to be very creative, innovative and nimble, moving quickly in a very demanding and extremely dynamic market.

Every day we are focused on production, creating and maintaining strong broker relationships, and underwriting cyber risks that range from very small sole proprietors to Fortune 100 companies in most industries across the country.

We are also responsible for placing our reinsurance, working with our marketing department to build collateral and grow the BCS brand.  As an admitted carrier we work very closely with our compliance department to ensure correct and timely filings of our products.  We collaborate with claims to monitor loss trends and ensure we are maintaining a very high level of claims handling standards.

Customer service to our broker partners, insured customers, and other stakeholders is an everyday top priority.  We take this very seriously through our communication, relationships and product designs to meet the needs of our customers.

Q: Tell us about a project you are working on.  

A: We are currently rolling out revised rates and forms on our Micro (small business) and Nano (sole proprietors) Cyber products.  We are increasing coverage, and in certain places reducing rates.  Any company less than $100 million in revenues can, working with their broker, receive a quote, binder and policy in less than five minutes.

We are additionally growing our excess cyber product, participating on towers of cyber insurance.

Q: What do you like most about your job?

A: My team, without question.  I have the good fortune of being a part of a highly talented and amazing group of cyber, management, and professional liability underwriters and support staff.  They are motivated, intelligent, upbeat, team-focused, strong insurance professionals with a passion for the industry, and quite simply all-around great individuals.

I can also say the same with our outside partners that have been a huge part of BCS launching some of the most innovative and successful cyber products in the market.

Working with amazing insurance professionals, laser-focused on putting great products in the market has allowed BCS to become a top 10 cyber liability insurance carrier (per A.M. Best).

Q: Why do you think cyber insurance is becoming such a hot topic?

A: More and more companies are realizing there is a high probability of being a victim of a cyber/privacy related loss.  They also realize the outcome could be catastrophic to operating as a going concern.

The goal posts are constantly moving and companies, especially smaller companies with fewer resources, need help staying ahead of cyber threats, navigating the regulatory landscape, ensuring appropriate breach response, and financing the activities related to responding to a cyber incident.

Companies cannot (should not) do it alone and most likely cannot pay for the costs involved without considerable financial stress, if not bankruptcy.

Cyber insurance helps not only pay for the activities related to a breach, including potential litigation, but it also helps align our insureds with the right vendors that will help them mitigate financial and reputational damage.

Q: You spend your days in the cyber world. When you need to get “off the grid”, where do you go/what do you do?

A: The most important and rewarding thing I do is spend time with my amazing wife and two beautiful and relatively crazy daughters (7 and 5).  We just have a ton of fun together.

Otherwise I occasionally ruin a good day trying to golf or workout.  I’m also a bit geeky and love video games.

Plus, we added a BONUS question for Chad, as the leader of our Culture Team.

Q: You also lead our culture team, which promotes BCS employees “having fun, and getting things done”. Tell us a bit about that.

A: In the long-run, the only truly unique aspect of a company is its culture.  A competitive landscape usually means strategies, innovations, and products are ultimately copied.  What cannot be copied is a culture.

How shared beliefs and values are defined, what things are considered priorities, what’s determined to be effective and meaningful and how success is measured and rewarded is different at every company and 100% impossible to replicate from company to company.

At BCS, the Culture Team had a lot of great, organic dialogue related to working hard, working smarter, being efficient, etc.  Ultimately, we decided simple is better and came up with “having fun, getting things done.”  It’s very meaningful and that both parts must go together for a strong culture and successful business.  If you have one without the other (or neither), something is off.

The BCS Culture Team is a true testament to the very objective we defined – “having fun, getting things done” and I couldn’t be prouder to work with such an outstanding group of professionals.

10 Oct 2019
CI Mental Health

Supporting Mental Health in the Workplace

The workplace is especially vulnerable to the financial impacts of mental illness, and employers are increasingly looking to brokers for support. On #WorldMentalHealthDay, start a conversation with your employer groups using these three ideas to incorporate #mentalhealth into employee benefit packages.
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02 Oct 2019

BCS Financial partners with Corax to expand cyber product for small business

Corax to help BCS cyber insurance customers mitigate risk

Oakbrook Terrace, Ill./London – Oct. 2, 2019 – #NationalCybersecurityAwarenessMonth – BCS Financial (BCS) and Corax are to partner on an innovative cyber liability product that will help small businesses understand and mitigate their cyber risk, whilst insuring themselves against the financial impact of a cyber attack.

Small businesses that purchase BCS cyber liability insurance coverage will gain access to a bespoke Corax risk report which will highlight any areas of weakness in their cyber hygiene and technology resilience, as well as an accurate view of potential cyber loss costs.

“At BCS, we are committed to helping our policyholders understand their cyber risks and protect their business,” says Chad Chaffin, vice president, Property & Casualty Underwriting. “We are thrilled to incorporate Corax’s state-of-the-art risk reports as part of a suite of value-added tools policyholder can access alongside our insurance offering.”

“Small businesses need more than an insurance payout if they become victim to a cyber attack,” said Jonathan Pope, Corax CEO. “They also need help pre- and post-breach. Corax is working with BCS to give small businesses the information they need to understand the true financial cost of their cyber risk, and how to mitigate it.”

BCS cyber liability insurance products are underwritten by BCS Insurance Company, OH (Administrative offices: Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois). BCS is the sixth largest writer of admitted cyber products in the U.S. per A.M. Best. Products are available via insurance brokers in 49 states and the District of Columbia. Corax is the leading and largest source of cyber exposure data and predicted loss costs of breach and network outage events.

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ABOUT CORAX

Corax is a cyber risk modelling and prediction platform which leverages its proprietary data on the security and technology resilience of more than 10 million interconnected companies to provide faster and more accurate benchmarking, predictions and expected loss costs of cyber events to individual and groups of companies worldwide. By using predictive cyber models that are validated by the insurance industry and driven by the most extensive data available, Corax is a leading provider of financial and probabilistic quantification of cyber risk at micro and macro economic levels and in identifying potential ‘points of failure’ in services, service providers and service locations across portfolios and across the internet.

Corax is used by (re)insurance carriers to accurately underwrite and manage cyber risk exposure, and by insurance brokers and agents to provide clients with precise cyber risk assessment and cover recommendations. Corax also unlocks value in cyber for insurers, brokers and information security consultancies seeking targeted B2B lead generation. Corax supports a wide range of other business challenges requiring cyber insights, such as cyber risk management, compliance and third party assessment, investment due diligence and corporate credit rating.

Founded in 2014 in London and San Francisco to be at the heart of insurance and technology, Corax has grown to over 200 users worldwide since being commercially available to the insurance industry in late 2017. To find out more about the Corax platform please visit coraxcyber.com.

For more information, contact abipope@coraxcyber.com or info@coraxcyber.com

ABOUT BCS FINANCIAL

BCS Financial Corporation has more than 70 years of experience delivering a wide-range of insurance and financial solutions for Blue Cross and Blue Shield organizations nationwide. Through its subsidiaries, BCS Insurance Company and 4 Ever Life Insurance Company, BCS is licensed in all 50 states and is rated A- (Excellent) by A.M. Best. BCS Financial is headquartered in Oakbrook Terrace, Ill. Learn more at bcsf.com.

For more information, please contact Nathan Post at 630.472.7860 or npost@bcsf.com.

 

 

 

01 Oct 2019
Cyber

Cyber Solutions from BCS

It’s #NationalCybersecurityAwarenessMonth, a good reminder that businesses of all types should assess their cyber security risk. #Cyberinsurance could be an important component of your risk management strategies. BCS has four targeted #cyber #insurance products to fit a variety of business needs.
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24 Sep 2019
EssentialCare

EssentialCare Critical Illness Named Insurance Nexus ‘2019 New Product of the Year’ for Groundbreaking Severe Mental Health Coverage

EssentialCare Critical Illness Takes Home ‘New Product of the Year’ and ‘North American Contribution to Society’ Awards at 2019 Insurance Nexus Awards Gala For Severe Mental Illness Rider

BCS is pleased to announce it is the recipient of the 2019 Insurance Nexus ‘New Product of the Year’ and ‘North American Contribution to Society’ awards for the EssentialCare Group Critical Illness product.

“As healthcare costs continue to rise, a majority of the population is ill-prepared for the toll a critical illness diagnosis or life-changing health event could take on their lives, and their wallets,” said Bruce Bahn, vice president, Product. “With EssentialCare Critical Illness, we have introduced groundbreaking coverage for four of the most prevalent serious mental health conditions, recognizing a severe mental illness as a ‘critical illness’ under the policy, and protecting consumers from the financial burden of a critical illness diagnosis, whether physical or mental.”

In the U.S., over 44 million adults have a mental health condition, with nearly five percent of all Americans experiencing a severe mental illness (Mental Health America, 2019). The World Health Organization ranks major depressive disorder as the fourth leading cause of disability worldwide. Yet, until EssentialCare Critical Illness was brought to market, CI policies excluded coverage for severe mental illnesses.

With EssentialCare Group Critical Illness, the policy provides fixed payments directly to the insured in the event of a covered critical illness diagnosis. The product includes a first-of-its-kind optional rider that provides coverage for four severe mental health conditions: severe major depressive disorder, severe bipolar I disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, and schizophrenia, classifying them as a critical illness under the policy and providing needed financial support in the event of one of these diagnoses.

“EssentialCare Group Critical Illness (CI) is an innovative solution to help address the financial challenges facing today’s health insurance consumers,” said James Drew, senior vice president, Marketing, Product & Strategic Ventures. “This recognition is a credit to the hard work and dedication of our team at BCS who worked tirelessly to create something new and innovative. We are proud to be the first to bring this coverage to the U.S. market, and to play a part in supporting mental health in America.”

BCS launched the EssentialCare Group Critical Illness product in April 2019. Underwritten by BCS Insurance Company, the product is available exclusively through BCS brokers and the BCS Insurance Agency. For more information, visit bcsf.com. If you are a broker interested in selling EssentialCare Group Critical Illness, please visit bcsf.com/criticalillness.

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Contact:

Nathan Post
Vice President, Marketing
BCS Financial
npost@bcsf.com
630.472.7860

About BCS Financial

BCS Financial Corporation has more than 70 years of experience delivering a wide-range of insurance and financial solutions for Blue Cross and Blue Shield organizations nationwide. Through its subsidiaries, BCS Insurance Company and 4 Ever Life Insurance Company, BCS is licensed in all 50 states and is rated A- (Excellent) by A.M. Best. BCS Financial is headquartered in Oakbrook Terrace, Ill. Learn more at bcsf.com.​