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Tag: Solutions

23 Feb 2021
Ancillary income solutions to help Blue Cross Blue Shield companies increase revenue and retain customers.

Why Blue Plans Should Partner with BCS to Offer Voluntary Products

Whether your Plan refers to the products as voluntary, ancillary, supplemental, or gap benefits, the market is growing. As high deductible health plans continue to be the norm, Blue members are purchasing benefits such as Accident, Critical Illness, Hospital Indemnity, and Limited Benefits Medical to help insulate them from the financial impact of a health event, and to give them financial peace of mind.

Find out why you should consider offering them with BCS.

1.) It is a revenue generator

  • In 2019, carriers reported nearly $8 billion in new annualized premium and $38 billion in force premium for Accident, Cancer, Critical Illness, Hospital Indemnity, Limited Benefits Medical, and other supplemental health insurance products.
  • This insurance market is growing – Members want to fill the “gap” created by high deductible health plans.
  • Your Plan can earn overrides on all voluntary/supplemental sales sold through your producers. BCS Financial can provide revenue projections and based on your medical membership.

2.) Member persistency increases

  • Often referred to as “stickiness”, employers with more products are proven to stay longer which often makes medical more profitable.
  • Carriers have seen up to a 7-9% increase in medical persistency by adding voluntary products*.

3.) Voluntary is a competitive threat response

  • Many major health carriers offer a wide array of supplemental products like Accident, Critical Illness, Hospital Indemnity and Limited Benefits Fixed Indemnity Medical.
  • Claims integration (when a medical claim triggers an Accident, Critical Illness or Hospital Indemnity claim) is a key differentiator for major medical carriers selling voluntary in a space where non-medical carriers have historically had majority market share.
  • Bundling provides an opportunity for consolidated billing (which employers value) when selling self-funded business with a TPA.
  • New markets can open up. Target prospects include employers with lower wage and part-time employees such as hotels, restaurants, construction, retail, and staffing agencies. Employers with white collar employees offer these products to supplement members’ HSAs and provide additional financial security.

4.) Voluntary increases producer differentiation and commissions

  • Provides Blue options for producers to provide holistic solutions and earn additional compensation. Ancillary can be used as a ‘trojan horse’ to gain a seat at the table from which to build the relationship and add other Blue products like medical, dental and vision.
  • Provides Blue options for producers in an environment where medical commissions are decreasing. Top producers believe their cross-sell rates exceed 30%, and now receive ancillary commissions that rival their medical commissions.

Please contact your BCS contact or Janae Sorenson, vice president of Ancillary Markets, to learn about potential revenue opportunities in your markets. BCS has a fast implementation schedule to that can help you win business in 2021, and make the most of 1/1/22 opportunities.

 

 

*BCBS of MA recognized an increase in medical persistency from 7-9% based on lines of coverage added.

 

13 Jan 2021

Gene Therapy Poses Volatility Concerns for the Self-Insured Community: An Actuarial View

In recent years, science and technology have been rapidly innovating, bringing the cure to many genetic diseases within reach. Along with excitement is an equal level of nervousness as the costs of gene therapy poses significant financial concerns to risk-bearers. For large self-insured employers who do not typically purchase stop loss coverage, they are exposed to these new treatments that can cost over $2M.  For example, a 20,000-employee plan sponsor may be spending roughly $200M per year in health and benefit expenses, and is expected to have between zero and four Zolgensma treatments within their population. If they have one, it can be absorbed with the margin built into the premium equivalent rates. If they have four, the expense could exceed $10M, creating volatility that these large plan sponsors just haven’t seen before.

Smaller self-insured plans cannot manage this type of volatility, which is why they purchase employer stop loss coverage. But even the stop loss carriers are not immune to volatility. Take for example a $100M stop loss carrier that expects to run at a 75% loss ratio – one additional Zolgensma claim could impact the loss ratio by 2%, eating into margins that are already suppressed. That impact will eventually make its way down to the self-insured plan upon renewal. It is common for stop loss carriers to purchase excess of loss coverage that provides catastrophic protection, but it doesn’t provide the frequency protection that many carriers, and large self-insured plan sponsors, currently assume (i.e. getting more than your fair share of gene therapy claims).

The gene therapy pipeline is rich with several new treatments in the works and several with expected price tags ranging between $2M and $4M dollars. Expect risk management activities to expand for those in the self-insured community, whether it be large plan sponsors or even employer stop loss carriers. Contact BCS today to find out how we can help with risk mitigation, and provide protection against these treatments, which are creating financial volatility, but also bringing much needed curative therapy to members suffering from genetic disease.

20 Oct 2020
Critical Illness Awareness Month

Offer a Solution Your Clients Need This Critical Illness Awareness Month

2020 marks the 10th anniversary of National Critical Illness Awareness Month, recognized annually in October.

This year over 1.8 million Americans will be diagnosed with cancer[1]. Some 790,000 individuals will have a heart attack and almost as many will have a stroke[2]. These critical illnesses can leave many in financial ruin – as high deductibles, copays, and coinsurance add up.

As clients offer benefits enrollment in the Fall, October is an ideal time to highlight the ancillary products like critical illness that can play a pivotal role in a member’s healthcare solution, by offering them financial support when they need it most.

EssentialCare Group Critical Illness[3] pays a lump-sum benefit upon diagnosis of a covered illness or life-changing health event. Employees can use payments to pay for major medical copays and deductibles, or additional expenses like transportation, child care, and more to help fill gaps in their healthcare coverage. EssentialCare Group Critical Illness includes:

  • Coverage for up to 35 adult and 8 childhood illnesses, plus support service coverages including wellness, dependent adult and child care, and more
  • Modular, adaptable plan designs that can be tailored to complement client need and underlying major medical
  • Easy administration with a simple RFQ process, best-in-class administration and claims adjudication
  • Award-winning, first-of-its-kind mental health rider that provides coverage for a severe mental illness event

For more information, contact BCS today, or visit essentialcare.com.

[1] Cancer.org, 2020 Facts

[2] Heart Disease and Stroke Statistical 2020 Update, American Heart Association

[3] Coverage for the Critical Illness plan underwritten by BCS Insurance Company is considered guaranteed issue provided: 1) the employee is actively at work; and2) the employee and all covered dependents are enrolled in a major medical health plan that meets minimum essential coverage requirements as provided under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

 

ESSENTIALCARE PRODUCTS ARE LIMITED BENEFIT POLICIES—READ YOUR POLICY CAREFULLY. THESE POLICIES ARE NOT MAJOR MEDICAL INSURANCE AND ARE NOT INTENDED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR MAJOR MEDICAL COVERAGE.

BCS EssentialCare insurance is underwritten by BCS Insurance Company, OH (Administrative Offices: Oakbrook Terrace, IL). See policy documents for a complete description of benefits, exclusions, limitations, and conditions of coverage. Not all benefits available in all states. Features and availability vary by location, and are subject to change. Some products may be pending regulatory approval in certain states.

06 Oct 2020
BCS Important News

BCS Announces Expansion of Risk Navigator Solution Set With Acquisition of Medical Risk Managers, Inc.

Acquisition joins two specialized Stop Loss Insurance and Excess of Loss Reinsurance underwriters

BCS Financial Corporation (BCS) announced today it has acquired Medical Risk Managers, Inc. (MRM), a market-leading provider of Stop Loss pricing and underwriting services.

As a market-leading insurer and reinsurer, BCS protects more than six million medical, supplemental, and travel customers. With this acquisition, MRM’s comprehensive managing general underwriting service model becomes an additional feature included in BCS’s Risk Navigator solution set, a highly predictive and actionable approach to managing carrier and employer large claim risks.

“For three decades, BCS has provided our customers with a portfolio of products and services designed to help flatten the growth of large claim risks,” said Peter Costello, president and chief executive officer of BCS Financial. “BCS’s acquisition of MRM advances our efforts to provide a comprehensive solution-set for our customers.”

In conjunction with MRM, BCS and its customers immediately gain access to market-leading Stop Loss pricing, underwriting, and case management capabilities. MRM and its customers, meanwhile, benefit by gaining increased access to BCS and its broad portfolio of complementary products, including Excess of Loss, Stop Loss, International Health, Limited Benefit, and Group Supplemental insurance.

“It’s undeniable that the volume and severity of High Cost Claimants is a growing problem for self-funded employers,” said Mehb Khoja, president of MRM. “Our new alignment enables both BCS and MRM to grow by sharing strengths, capabilities, and market access.”

Under BCS’s ownership, Khoja will continue as president of MRM, which will remain headquartered in South Windsor, Connecticut.

About BCS Financial Corporation (BCS)

For over 70 years, BCS Financial Corporation has delivered a wide-range of insurance and financial solutions primarily designed for Blue Cross and Blue Shield organizations and their customers 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 Medical Risk Managers, Inc. (MRM)

For over 35 years, Medical Risk Managers, Inc. has underwritten Stop Loss insurance on behalf of its insurance carrier partners. As a managing general underwriter, MRM has underwritten over $4 billion in Stop Loss premium since its inception. Among its capabilities, MRM is able to price Stop Loss coverage at any deductible level, over any network, and in any zip code nationwide. MRM is headquartered in South Windsor, Connecticut. Learn more at mrmstoploss.com.

Media Contact: amy@newswiremail.io

05 Aug 2020

Stop Loss 2021: Uncertainty is the Only Certainty

Employers are looking at an uncertain future as they mitigate the current pandemic crisis on top of predictive numbers of health insurance costs in 2021. Large, self-insured organizations worry that due to their employees reducing their use of coverage because of at-home orders and safety precautions, there will be a surge in sickness and procedures in the next year. That is in addition to increased COVID-19 testing that many businesses require for employees to return to work in the office. These companies worry they are going to see a rate increase of at least 3 to 4.5%*, if not more.

Unfortunately, it is hard to accurately confirm the rise in cost. According to analysts at PwC’s Health Research Institute, “there’s so much uncertainty because of the COVID-19 disruption that it’s difficult to pinpoint whether medical-cost trends will be significantly lower or higher next year”. With this in mind, the best thing our industry can do for our clients is continuing to educate ourselves on these trends and inform them on changes that could affect their health insurance needs.

BCS is dedicated to providing best in class Stop Loss products and sharing our expertise with our partners. Our annual conference Sept 1-3 (VIRTUAL) will cover a variety of topics with leading industry experts. We encourage your participation and hope you can join in on the conversation. As we look towards 2021, the only certainty we have is that things continue to change and we need to be prepared for a variety of outcomes while keeping a positive focus on our employer groups.
For more information about Stop Loss, or our Risk Navigator Conference, contact Kendal Sasso.

*SOURCE: Coronavirus outbreak is already upending health insurance premiums and copays for next year, by Bertha Coombs, https://www.cnbc.com/2020/07/15/coronavirus-already-upends-2021-health-insurance-premiums-and-copays.html
18 Jun 2020

EssentialCare Offers Support for Caregivers During Illness, Injury, or Hospitalization

In the 2019/2020 “Caregiving and the Workplace: Employer Benchmarking Survey” by the Northeast Business Group on Health, a significant majority of respondents (78%) said that caregiving would be an increasingly important issue over the next five years. The survey was taken before the COVID-19 pandemic, which has only accentuated the already growing number of employees shouldering caregiving responsibilities.

In fact, according to the Family Caregiver Alliance, more than 34 million Americans have provided unpaid care to an adult aged 50 or older in the last 12 months. As this number continues to grow, EssentialCare group voluntary products can help. EssentialCare Accident, Critical Illness, and Hospital Indemnity provide a lump-sum benefit in the event of an injury, illness, or hospitalization. Payments can be used to pay for major medical copays and deductibles, or additional expenses to help fill gaps in employees’ healthcare coverage.

The products offer a wide-range of coverage options to suite client needs, including benefits that support caring for dependent adult, children, and even pets*. These coverages can provide additional support by providing fixed payments to caregivers when they face the additional burden of an injury, illness, or hospitalization. For more information about EssentialCare and its support service coverages, visit essentialcare.com.

 

 

 

*Not all benefits available in all states. See policy for details.

ESSENTIALCARE PRODUCTS ARE LIMITED BENEFIT POLICIES—READ YOUR POLICY CAREFULLY. THESE POLICIES ARE NOT MAJOR MEDICAL INSURANCE AND ARE NOT INTENDED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR MAJOR MEDICAL COVERAGE.

BCS EssentialCare insurance is underwritten by BCS Insurance Company, OH (Administrative Offices: Oakbrook Terrace, IL). See policy documents for a complete description of benefits, exclusions, limitations, and conditions of coverage. Not all benefits available in all states. Features and availability vary by location, and are subject to change. Some products may be pending regulatory approval in certain states.

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

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.

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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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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