Dickerson Update, July 9 – Updates from Blue Shield, Guardian, MetLife, Molina and More!

Blue Shield extends a flexible payment program in response to COVID-19

Blue Shield announced that they’re supporting customers impacted financially by the COVID-19 pandemic by continuing their Premium Payment Program. Blue Shield originally announced this program in April and extended it into May, then June. The Blue Shield Premium Payment Plan Program will now continue into July.

Customers must meet and agree to all of the terms and conditions to enroll in the Premium Payment Plan Program to continue coverage and avoid cancellation due to nonpayment. The terms and conditions include the requirement to pay the Total Amount Past Due in full and a minimum payment of 25% of their premiums due as soon as possible, but no later than the due date indicated on the bill.

If a client is canceled for non-payment, they may seek reinstatement through Blue Shield’s existing policies, which could include enrollment into the Premium Payment Plan Program. A notable update to this program is that customers are limited to two months maximum premium deferment.

To learn more about the program, click here.

For all details, please contact your Dickerson Account Executive.

Guardian is offering a One-Month Premium Credit for Dental and Vision

Guardian is offering a one-month premium credit for new and in-force fully-insured dental and vision plans. The commissions will be based on the premiums received. Guardian will also have an alternative option of an extended rate guarantee.

  • Existing dental and vision customers will be given the option to choose a two-year rate guarantee on both products.
  • New customers will have the option to choose a two-year guarantee for dental and a two or three-year guarantee for vision.

Guardian has also developed partnerships with Third-Party Administrators to provide additional services, such as billing to mutual clients. Guardian has advised they will collaborate with each partner to develop business processes to support the program. In addition to the added benefits, Guardian also announced they will enhance the frequency of dental cleanings, exams, and flouride treatments (if applicable) to a minimum of two per calendar year beginning July 1, 2020, through 2021.

For more details, please contact your Dickerson Account Executive.

MetLife announces a COVID-19 Premium Credit due to COVID-19

ChoiceBuilder, on behalf of MetLife, understands that the global virus pandemic has fostered challenging times so they would like to help. As a result, MetLife decided to forgive a percentage of your group’s August premium. ChoiceBuilder applied a one-time 50 percent credit to your existing group’s August 2020 statement. The credit is part of MetLife’s COVID-19 related premium forgiveness program which was calculated based on a percentage of your group’s August premium.

Please note that new business groups effective August 1st or later do not qualify to receive the premium credit. Groups enrolled with MetLife will receive a similar notice inserted with their August statement.
For more details, please contact your Dickerson Account Executive.

Molina waives background fees, opens contracting, and unveils updates to Vue Portal

Molina recently shared four major announcements to agency partners. See the below for additional details:

  1. Background Fees are Gone
    Molina removed all background fees associated with agent onboarding, which makes it easier to do business with them.
  2. Contracting is now Open
    Contracting is now open for the upcoming 2021 OEP season earlier than ever before! There are new updates to the contracting process in Vue, please see additional details for this below.
  3. Vue Broker Portal Updates
    The Molina Vue Broker Portal has a fresh new look, log in to take a look. The functions listed below are now slightly different after this update. For step by step instructions on how to complete functions listed below, please click here.

    1. How to send an onboarding invitation
    2. How to request a license/appointment for an existing agent
    3. How to view your Book of Business (BOB)

  4. Agency Contract Amendments are on the way
    Amendments for the 2021 Marketing General Agency Contracts will be sent out this week. They will be emailed and also uploaded into the Vue Agency Portal.

For more information, please contact Sally Saracay via phone (800) 457-6116 (ask for Sally) or email (sally@dickerson-group.com).

Can the United States balance costs and social welfare to deliver an affordable COVID-19 vaccine to Americans?

The race to find a vaccine against the novel coronavirus, which crashed the economy and left millions jobless in its wake, continues globally as the world strives to return to some semblance of normalcy. While Americans’ health is priceless, the COVID-19 vaccine will have a price tag that many people fear will be too high. The business-centric model of drug pricing in the United States might put a coronavirus vaccine out of reach for people without a lot of economic resources.

While many countries have developed price negotiating frameworks to balance cost, efficacy, and social good, in the United States, business calculations drive drug price tags. In setting prices, drugmakers rarely acknowledge the considerable federal funding and research that have helped develop their products and they have not offered taxpayer-investors financial payback.

For the full story, click here.

California has set a new record at 11,500 cases for COVID-19 in a single day

Over the holiday weekend, records indicate that hospitalizations increased significantly during the coronavirus pandemic. Records also show that the state has surpassed 271,000 positive cases of COVID-19 with a total record number of 11,529 diagnosed cases, during an update given on Monday. According to an update from the state, 5,790 patients were hospitalized with confirmed cases of coronavirus, with 1,706 of them in the ICU. Newsom also advised that he attributed the increase in numbers due to residents socializing with extended family members and relaxed social distancing.

In an attempt to curb the rising number of cases, Governor Gavin Newsom backtracked on reopening the state’s economy, which originally began in May. As a result, 19 counties were ordered to immediately close all bars and suspend dine-in options at restaurants and entertainment locales, including movie theaters. The affected counties included Sacramento and Los Angeles counties, which affected 40 million residents in the state of California.

To read the story, click here.