Category: Blog

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.​

 

 

17 Sep 2019

Meet the Team – IT

Observed every third Tuesday in September, National IT Professionals Day honors all those in information technology who keep our businesses connected. To celebrate, we highlight Donte Lee, Manager, Network Administration.

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

A: As the Network Administration Manager, my team and I handle all things helpdesk and IT Infrastructure.

Q: What do you like most about your job?

A: Technology plays a big role in allowing flexibility. Being able to balance home and work life is very important to me. Also, I love the personal progress and lifelong learning within my job. My motivation is to be a little more sophisticated every day.

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

A: Have patience, stay curious, and have a positive attitude.

Q: Describe your department in three words.

A: Talented, innovative, and inclusive

Q: What is one thing on your bucket list?

A: I would love to obtain my private pilot’s license.

 

Happy National IT Professionals Day to our entire IT team!

29 Aug 2019

Meet the Team – Sales

This month we meet Matt Gibson, Director, Business Development. Matt spends his days working with clients, so we asked him for his insights working on our Sales team.

Q: What do you like most about your role?

A: I love meeting new people and building relationships.  Some of the relationships have lasted for many years and will continue for many years into the future.  A close second has to be closing a big deal, and ultimately bringing new business to BCS.

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

A: To excel in sales, one needs to have the ability to listen to each client and suggest solutions to their issues.  The solutions may or may not be something that BCS can bring to the table, but it shows that we are all collectively working toward a common goal.

Q: What drew you to BCS?

A: I have worked at BCS for about 3.5 years, and in my prior life, I worked at HCSC for just shy of 15 years.  What drew me to BCS was the chance to work at a smaller company with the goal of being better able to impact change.  Also knowing that BCS plays a major role within BCBS Plans made the decision a little easier.

Q: If you could swap jobs with anyone for a day, who would it be and why?

A: I would want to be a hunting guide.  I first started hunting when I was 8 and have done it ever since.  I love nature and being a guide would allow me to be outside watching the world go by.  It would also provide for the ability to meet new people from all walks of life.

Q: Rumor has it you have quite the sock collection. How many pairs do you think you own?

A: The rumor is true, I do have quite the sock collection.  The collection has grown over the years and I probably have close to 50 pairs of colorful dress socks.  Color and design are critical and the more color, the better in my opinion.  Believe it or not, the socks tend to be a simple way to open conversation.

27 Aug 2019

BCS Financial Adopts Blue Health Intelligence’s Predictive Model to Help Health Plan Members with Serious and Expensive Health Conditions Earlier

To view the full press release via BHI, click here.

CHICAGO (August 27, 2019) – BCS Financial Corporation (BCS), which provides insurance and financial products to Blue Cross Blue Shield Companies, has selected Blue Health Intelligence®’s (BHI®) award-winning predictive algorithm to identify members who have or may develop health conditions that cost more than $250,000 a year. The goal is to help individual Blue Plans work with these high cost claimants (HiCCs) to improve their health outcomes and mitigate escalating expenses.

While HiCCs represent fewer than one in 1,000 of all Blue Plan members, they are expected to generate nearly $20 billion in annual costs by 2022. In developing meaningful solutions for this vulnerable population, BHI found that three of every five high cost members are new or emerging, and many suffer from heart disease, cancer, or neurological disorders. The remaining 40% have recurring high costs each year, and typically suffer from chronic conditions such as blood disorders, metabolic illnesses, and renal disease. Contributing factors for all HiCCs include specialty drugs, new genetic therapies, and advanced treatments such as cancer immunotherapy.

The BCS and BHI HiCC solution, currently being implemented by five Blue Plans, is called the High Cost Predictor Algorithm (HCPA). It uses machine learning to efficiently achieve the needle-in-a-haystack work of identifying who among tens of millions of Plan members will reach or exceed more than $250,000 in annual costs, including a few thousand whose care is expected to exceed $1 million per year. Earlier this year, BHI was recognized by MedTech Awards as having the best predictive analytics solution.

“BCS is committed to helping Blue Plans and their members achieve high-quality healthcare at a lower cost through a variety of tools and reinsurance solutions, and we are thrilled to add this leading-edge solution to our cost-containment offerings,” said Peter Costello, BCS Financial’s president and chief operating officer.

BHI specifically trained and validated the HCPA using longitudinal claims information from more than 190 million Americans in its National Data Repository, along with publicly available socioeconomic and claims derived data. BHI’s data scientists evaluated thousands of predictive variables to isolate the clinical complexities, utilization patterns, and contextual factors most closely linked to extremely high costs.

“The combination of BHI’s machine learning, artificial intelligence, and clinical validation make these predictions extremely scalable, actionable, and accurate,” said Swati Abbott, BHI’s CEO. “As a result, BHI is proud to be supporting BCS’ early identification efforts to help lower members’ high costs and improve their health experiences.”

The HCPA is now part of the BCS Risk Navigator suite of cost-containment solutions. Using its National Data Repository, BHI augments the predictive model output with additional historical insights on each member to aid nurse reviewers.

20 Aug 2019
BCS Financial Icon

BCS Financial’s Groundbreaking EssentialCare Line Addresses Mental Health, Named Finalist in 2019 Insurance Nexus Awards

Recognizing mental health and the rising costs of out-of-pocket medical expenses as a growing concern, BCS Financial’s efforts earn recognition as a finalist for the Insurance Nexus New Product of the Year Award.

BCS Financial’s progressive EssentialCare Group Critical Illness product line has been announced as a finalist for the 2019 Insurance Nexus New Product of the Year Award, in addition to the North American Contribution to Society Award. BCS is approaching mental health with a renewed vigor, addressing the issue head-on with its innovative mental health rider, which provides coverage for severe mental illness. The EssentialCare Critical Illness policy provides coverage for up to 35 of the most pervasive critical illnesses, plus eight childhood conditions.

“Our recently launched EssentialCare Group Critical Illness product was nominated for this award because of its new-to-market product feature that provides coverage for those suffering from a severe mental illness,” said Bruce Bahn, Vice President, Product Development at BCS. “While the industry has done an excellent job providing financial protection for physical conditions, a mental illness can be just as debilitating and life-disrupting. We are proud to be the first to bring this coverage to the U.S. market and to be recognized by industry peers.”

The annual Insurance Nexus Award ceremony is the biggest celebration in insurance, held to celebrate the most innovative and passionate movers and shakers on the front lines. This September, the gala will bring together dedicated insurance teams to celebrate the best and brightest in the insurance industry. The black-tie gala is set to take place on Sept. 12 at the Hilton Chicago.

“This recognition is a reflection of the hard work and dedication of a large cross-functional team that has worked to develop and bring this product to market. BCS is honored to be amongst top names in the industry on the list of finalists in two award categories. Congratulations to all the finalists,” Bahn said.

For more information about the awards, visit the website at https://events.insurancenexus.com/awards/. For more information on the EssentialCare Group Critical Illness product, visit bcsf.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, Illinois. Learn more at bcsf.com.

About Insurance Nexus

Situated between London’s Silicon Roundabout and the City, Insurance Nexus is at the innovative heart of an industry undergoing significant disruption and innovation. Insurance Nexus is the central hub for insurance executives. Through in-depth industry analysis, targeted research, niche events and quality content, the team provides the industry with a platform to network, discuss, learn and shape the future of the insurance industry.

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

Emma Sheard​
General Manager
Insurance Nexus
emma.sheard@insurancenexus.com
+44 (0) 207 422 4349